CHENNAI: Two Railway officials and managing director of a private company were sentenced for two years in jail on charges of constructing a substandard retaining wall along the railway track in the Katpadi- Pakala – Tirupathi stretch. Delivering the verdict in the 10-years-old case, the trial court on Thursday observed that the accused had put lives of thousands of passengers in peril in order to swindle public money.
According to the prosecution, in 2003 the meter-gauge railway track of Southern Railway was converted into broad gauge in Vellore Cantonment Reach between the Palar bridge and Katpadi Yard. The work included the formation of bank and the linking of broad gauge track supply of dumping of the ballast as part of the Katpadi- Pakala – Tirupathi gauge conversion.
The work was awarded to the CT Ramanathan and Company. There was an alleged conspiracy to use substandard steel and cement for construction by the contractor and misuse of office by public servants working in the Southern Railway, found the Anti-Corruption Branch of the CBI.
T Ravindran, Deputy Chief Engineer, Southern Railway, Egmore; M Tamilarasan, Junior Engineer, (Works) Southern Railway, Tiruchy and K Chandiraiah, Executive Engineer (Stores and Construction), Southern Railway, Chennai were responsible for conducting test checks with regard to the quality and quantity of the work.
Each of the railway officials was deputed with respective work to adhere to the quality of the Railway standards code.However, the contractor C T Ramanathan & Co and one R Adaikalvan,Managing Partner did not strictly comply with the conditions to maintain the quality of the work, which was found during Southern Railway officials during a vigilance check and sent the samples to Indian Institute of Technology for quality testing.The test report revealed that the iron used by contractor firm had an elongation of only 5.7% and they do not conform to the standards specified in I.S.1786/1985 standards.
CT Ramanathan and Company
The work included the formation of bank and the linking of broad gauge track supply of dumping of the ballast as part of the Katpadi- Pakala – Tirupathi gauge conversion. The work was awarded to the CT Ramanathan and Company