KOCHI: A day after a part of the under-construction Cochin Cancer Research Centre at Kalamassery collapsed, workers of contracting firm INKEL removed some of the debris. However, the public outcry against the quality of construction continued to rage on Tuesday.
The debris was removed for confirming that no other worker was trapped under it. “We have removed the debris and will complete the process by Wednesday. Our six workers who were admitted to the Medical College Hospital with minor injuries have been discharged,” said a worker of the firm. Officials of INKEL, however, could not be reached despite repeated attempts.
Though Fire and Rescue Services officers inspected the site, they did not find anything dubious. Police patrolled the area throughout the day.
Meanwhile, the campus saw a few protests. Youth Congress workers gheraoed the medical college principal demanding a halt to the faulty construction with immediate effect. “Initially, we planned the protest march to INKEL project office, but their officials fled the spot. Thereafter, we marched to the medical college and demanded authorities to stop the construction. Incidentally, the construction of the super speciality block of the medical college is also managed by INKEL. The government should show the will to arrest the culprits behind the corruption,” said Youth Congress Kalamassery mandalam committee president Ashkar Panayapilly.
MP demands action
Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden asked the government to initiate a probe against INKEL and its officials. “I had opposed the handing over of construction of the prestigious project to INKEL from HSSC (Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation) from the beginning. The lackadaisical approach and corruption in the work should be probed and stringent action taken against the officials,” he said.
Movement writes to CM
Raising concerns over the poor quality of construction, the Justice V R Krishna Iyer Movement, which has been demanding the construction of a state-of-the-art cancer research centre in Ernakulam, shot off a letter to the chief minister on Tuesday. “A high-level probe by a team of experts should be initiated into the incident. There is no one to look after the day-to-day construction activities. Moreover, INKEL has no prior experience in construction,” Dr N K Sanil Kumar, member of the movement, said in a statement. The movement also demanded that the contractor be changed for the remaining work. “The work must be handed over to an expert company and the government should implement the recommendations of the Assembly Committee report,” he added.