Bhubaneswar, Sept 11: A day after the collapse of Bomikhal road overbridge on Puri-Cuttack highway, the commissionorate police Monday arrested Pratap Kishore Panda, the proprietor and managing director of Panda Infra Project (India) Private Limited.
The construction firm had awarded the contract for the overbridge, which caved in Sunday, killing one person and injuring 11 others.
“Panda surrendered before Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi after which he was taken into custody. After recording his statements, he is being forwarded to the court,’’ police commissioner YB Khurania told reporters here.
The police registered a case against three directors of Panda Infra construction company – Pratap Panda, Sujata Panda, Santosh Panda — and deputy executive engineer Bansidhar Praharaj, assistant engineer Kishore Kumar Rout and others at Laxmisagar police station under sections 304, 337, 338 and 34 of IPC. An unnatural death case has also been registered at Capital police station and the probe is on, he said.
“The police have arrested deputy executive engineer Praharaj while assistant executive engineer Rout is at large. The search operation is on to nab him. Both engineers have been given supervisory responsibility,” Khurania said.
The government has already placed Praharaj and Rout under suspension. Further, the concerned executive engineer Dukhabandhi Behera has been suspended for prima facie dereliction of duty, officials said.
The commissionerate police have also sealed the registered office of the construction company at Plot No. 2696, Vivekananda Marg here.
Meanwhile, the works department has started investigations into the reasons behind collapse of the bridge and the persons responsible for the incident. A five-member team of forensic laboratory has visited the spot Monday and collected samples for further investigation.
“The chief engineer (roads) and chief engineer (design) have started investigations into the incident. They will find out possible lapses leading to the mishap. The engineers have been directed to submit their report within a week,” works secretary NK Pradhan told Orissa POST.
“Today we along with our team visited the spot. We will look into all aspects of quality and safety. We will find out whether adequate safety measures have been taken and whether the quality of material used in the centering portion has been compromised,” chief engineer (design) Deba Narayana Pal told this paper.
Meanwhile, expressing concern over the incident, Orissa Human Rights Commission Monday directed the police commissioner and works secretary to investigate the issue and submit an action taken report within 15 days.
Report in a week: CM
A high-level panel comprising chief engineer (designs) and chief engineer (roads), will probe Sunday’s collapse of under construction railway overbridge on Cuttack-Puri road in the city and furnish its report within a week, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informed the state Assembly Monday. Making a statement, as directed by Speaker PK Amat, Patnaik said one person was killed and 10 others were injured when a span of the under construction bridge collapsed. He said his government would ensure stringent and exemplary action against all persons responsible for the tragic incident. A UD case has been registered and enquiry is under way, he said, adding that a case u/s 304,337/338/34 of IPC has been registered against Panda Infra Project (India).
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