After flyover collapse, begins blame-game
As the families grieve the death of their kin in the Varanasi flyover collapse earlier this week, the local administration and the work agency are busy playing a blame game.
The district police has lodged an FIR against officials of the Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation Ltd, a government-run entity carrying out the construction of the flyover in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency, stating the agency did not follow safety measures, reports PTI.
Varanasi Senior Superintendent of Police RK Bharadwaj said that during an inspection of the construction site, it came to the fore that the builders were not following safety measures such as putting up proper barricades and laying out a service lane and an FIR was registered against corporation officials in February.
Rajan Mittal, who was removed as corporation MD on Thursday, however, refuted the charges and asserted he was is in possession of five letters sent to the SP, Traffic, between November 2017 and March 2018 for regulating traffic and removing encroachments from the area.
"Besides, our concern for the traffic had been expressed continuously in the meetings with the local administration and can be seen in the minutes of these meetings," he told PTI before he was removed from the post.
"In fact, the traffic should not have been allowed in the area in the first place and all officials of the district were aware of not only traffic movement but also jams," he said, adding that the project was continuously being monitored at every level as the agency was working roundthe-clock to meet deadlines.
A portion of the under-construction flyover near the railway station in Varanasi collapsed on May 15 killing at least 18 people, officials had said.
Some vehicles, including a bus, were crushed in the collapse, they said.