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Negligence of road construction agency takes jawan’s life

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Bolangir: An Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) jawan was killed allegedly due to negligence on the part a construction agency carrying out a major road expansion work in Bolangir.

On April 21, IRB jawan, Rupanand Mirdha fell into a 10ft deep ditch dug up during construction of a culvert on Shantipada Chhak while he was travelling on a motorcycle.

Though Rupanada was immediately rushed to Bolangir hospital, he was then shifted to Burla where he died while undergoing treatment on April 28.

Protesting the callous attitude of the officials of the construction agency for not adhering to basic safety norms including putting up of adequate barricades and signage at the construction site, the locals had earlier staged a demonstration.

Though police had assured the agitators of action, no step has been taken so far against the erring contractor, informed sources.

“He was new to the place and was returning to join his duty when he fell into the ditch. The contractor is to be blamed for his death as there were no safety warnings at the site,” said Ramakant Pradhan, relative of the deceased jawan.

Pratap Rath, president of Retired Army Personnel Union said, “We condemn such incident and demand that the police administration should register a case against those responsible for such negligence.”

As per norms, a construction agency needs to take several precautions including putting up barricades and signage while undertaking construction works and no construction materials should also be dumped on the roadside.

However, such norms are being blatantly violated, local residents alleged.

“As per available information, the mishap occurred due to rash and negligent driving and there was no fault of our department,” said PWD executive engineer, Nalinikant Das.

Golakulananda Sahu, the Inspector-in-Charge of Bolangir Town Police station on the other hand stated that the contractor claims that they had put up barricades and it might have been removed by some miscreants.

“We will examine whether there was any guard wall or not from nearby CCTV cameras and take appropriate action as per law,” said Sahu.

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