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Varanasi flyover collapse: FIR lodged
From the Web Desk, 17/05/2018, New Delhi

An FIR (First Information Report) was lodged against personnel of the Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation (UPSBC) on Wednesday, following the collapse of a portion of an under-construction flyover in Varanasi on Tuesday. The incident led to 18 deaths.

Although the FIR lodged at the Sigra Police Station does not name anyone, it lists among the accused supervisory officials, contractors and staff appointed by the UPSBC for various tasks.

Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and Section 427 (mischief) of the Indian Penal Code have been invoked. Sections 3 and 4 of the Public Property Damage Prevention Act 1984 are also mentioned in the FIR.

In its complaint, the police said UPSBC officials had carried out the construction work at a time when traffic in the area was at its peak. Officials have been accused of working “without proper safety measures” as required by the “project standard”, the FIR states.

Rules flouted

Officials, staff, contractors and supervisors went ahead with the construction work even when they were fully aware that there was high public mobility in the area at the time and that any minor lapse could lead to heavy loss of life and property, the FIR said.

A three-member team of senior officials led by Commissioner of Agricultural Production Raj Pratap Singh started its probe and inspected the site of the collapse in Varanasi’s Cantonment area.

Around a dozen persons were also injured and at least seven vehicles, including a mini-bus and a tempo, crushed under the girder which fell on the traffic near the Railway Station in Varanasi’s Cantonment area.

Rajan Mittal, Managing Director of the UPSBC, estimated that the accident could have taken place due to the dislodging of the beam bearing, possibly due to the recent thunderstorm that hit parts of the State as the beams were not cast together.

“The beam bearing might have got dislodged a bit. It could be one of the reasons. The beams were resting there for 2.5 months and could have inclined a bit gradually, shifting slightly out of the centre,” Mr. Mittal told The Hindu . The cross beams should have been cast, he pointed out.

The police on Wednesday also arrested a sweeper after he allegedly demanded money from the kin of the dead for the post-mortem.

State Public Works Department Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya late on Tuesday suspended four officials and engineers, including Chief Project Manager H.C. Tiwari and Project Manager K.R. Sudan, holding them “prima facie” responsible for the incident.

Another probe

U.P. Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said the under-construction bridge from the Lehartara to Chaukaghat area was 56% complete and the span that fell was laid as recently as February. A second probe team is expected to submit a technical report on the accident within 15 days, while the three-member team was given 48 hours by CM Yogi Adityanath.

 

 
 
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