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Poonam Singh

Bhubaneswar: Nearly half a month after the collapse of Suktel bridge in Patnagarh block of Bolangir district which had claimed lives of two labourers, the Odisha government blacklisted the construction company Ram Kumar Agrawal Engineers Private Limited in charge of the project.

While Bolangir Police had earlier arrested G. Nair, the construction company supervisor, the Patnagarh Rural Development Department a few days later placed Executive Engineer Antony Kishan under suspension in connection with the incident.

Reportedly, two labourers who were engaged in the repair of the bridge were killed after a portion of it collapsed on them on April 29. Another person had sustained critical injuries.

It may be noted here that OTV had first reported about a portion of the bridge developing cracks while a pillar of the bridge had also caved in. The situation of the bridge was such that cement plasters were seen peeling out at several places with the iron rod frames developing corrosion.

Following this, the office of the engineer in chief (rural works), Bhubaneswar on February 29 had appointed a high-level technical team from Delhi to inspect the bridge. It is then that the technical team found faults in the design and construction works.

However, executive engineer Antony Kishan had clearly refuted the claims of any inferior work being done in the construction saying, “There might be some low cover of cement at some places which peeled off but low construction materials were never used.”

Notably, the construction firm had completed the 183-metre long bridge on July 3, 2015, against the deadline on February 2016 at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 7 crore. The construction company was also awarded for completing the construction works of the bridge in record time and maintaining the quality.

Suktel Bridge Collapse Case: Suktel River Bridge In Bolangir Collapses, Two Labourers Killed

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