Flaws galore in work, Panda Infraproject Ltd in a spot

Amidst growing outrage over the Bomikhal flyover collapse that killed a one and left 12 injured, construction techniques adopted by the infrastructure firm under the scanner.

Published: 12th September 2017 02:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2017 09:23 AM   |  A+A-

Bomikhal flyover

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Amidst growing outrage over the Bomikhal flyover collapse that killed a businessman and left 12 injured on Sunday, serious questions have been raised over construction techniques adopted by Panda Infraproject Ltd which was entrusted the work.
Did the company violate the standard procedure? Why did the Works Department gloss over the design parameters during the casting of slabs?

For flyovers, the requirement of ready mix and steel is calculated basing on a stipulated concrete density. Similarly, shuttering systems and centering supports are designed after computing the volume of concrete to be used while casting the slabs.
Panda Infraproject had already laid 63 slabs and the 64th one was being cast when the mishap occurred on Sunday.Insiders of Works Department point out that flawed shuttering and centering systems were the main cause of the accident. If the company used the same centering materials, there was bound to be a mishap because the props would have weakened substantially. The one which collapsed was erected more than two months back and had more joints than required.

Besides, the place where the mishap took place was not a firm ground and the recent rains had caused change to the surface which should have been taken into account while erecting and maintaining the props.
Besides, it is a standard norm to ensure that shuttering plates are leak proof to prevent seepage of concrete through the openings causing de-stablisation to the structure. For this, contractors use a mix of grease and cement on the shuttering plates and plug the holes with brown tapes. Was it monitored?

“The company reportedly used only a limited set of shuttering systems which is why the flyover work moved at a snail’s pace. This, in turn, led to a cost escalation. Budget of the `22 crore project which was delayed by three years had shot past `40 crore. This should be probed,” said the sources.
Even as a six-member engineering team led by two Chief Engineers visited the mishap site and began the probe, a five-member forensic team was also pressed into the investigation.

Other technical deficiencies apart, the use of Shyam Steel for reinforcement has raised many an eyebrow. Though the Works Department had reportedly approved Shyam Steel along with SAIL, Tata Steel and RINL, whether the former meets the quality of other enlisted manufacturers is a big question.
While Works Department remained silent, at least one petition was filed against the firm before Prime Minister’s Office by Sudarshan Sundaray in connection with the Jatni railway over bridge (ROB) which Panda Infraproject was executing. The PMO had asked the Chief Secretary’s office in February to initiate action.

Similarly, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had also written to the then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to conduct a probe into allegations of sub-standard work in construction of the ROB between Retanga and Khurda Road Station.


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