Three engineers suspended in Odisha, case against contractor

During the period of suspension, their headquarters will be the office of chief construction engineer, Rural Works circle, Sunadeba.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

RAYAGADA: The district administration on Tuesday suspended three engineers of the Rural Works division on the charge of dereliction of duty after an under-construction culvert caved in, killing five persons including four children in Uparajasa village under Kalyansingpur block

The trio was identified as executive engineer Pradeep Mohanty, junior engineer Rajesh Mandal and assistant executive engineer Muduli Venkat Raman. Rayagada collector Swadha Dev Singh said the state government is also contemplating to initiate disciplinary proceedings against them.

During the period of suspension, their headquarters will be the office of chief construction engineer, Rural Works circle, Sunadeba. They have been asked not to leave the headquarters without the permission of the chief construction engineer. However, they shall be entitled to payment of subsistence allowance in accordance with the rules of Odisha Service Code. Singh said a case has also been registered against the contractor tasked with construction of the culvert.

On Monday, the five victims were taking bath in the rainwater accumulated under box-cell culvert when the structure collapsed and crushed them. The under-construction culvert, part of a 4.5 km road connecting to state highway-45 via Talasajja village, was being developed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) at a cost of Rs 2.74 crore. Construction of the culvert had started two months back but due to rain, the work was stopped midway.

Following the mishap, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to each of the bereaved families. The amount will be paid to them soon, the collector added.

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