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IIT-Guwahati to probe Meghalaya dome collapse cause

“The investigation will be an independent in nature and independent from both the stakeholders – the designers and the contractors – and also from the government,” the Chief Minister assured. 

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Shillong: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday said experts from Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) -Guwahati will probe into the collapse of the dome from atop the under-construction Meghalaya assembly building at Mawdiangdiang, New Shillong Township, in the early hours of Sunday “We expect them (IIT, Guwahati) to come in the next couple of days and inspection and complete study will be done,” Sangma told reporters. 

“The investigation will be an independent in nature and independent from both the stakeholders – the designers and the contractors – and also from the government,” the Chief Minister assured. 

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Noting that the construction of the new Assembly building was a highly technical project, Sangma said, “A project of this nature has never been done in the whole of North East and in the entire eastern region maybe only Victoria building in Kolkata that have that dome.

“As per my knowledge I think nowhere in the eastern region that this kind of project has been tried out so it was very highly technical and very complicated both from design and construction point of view,” he said. 

“The weight of the dome structure alone is 4,500 metric tons (or 4 lakh kgs) so one can imagine the architectural as well as engineering and contractual skills required to move such a project forward,” the Chief Minister said. 

On the opposition Congress’ demand to sack Public Works Department (Buildings) Minister Dasakhait Lamare besides suspending Executive Engineer PWD (Buildings) Ransom Sutnga, Sangma said, “Well, that’s the nature of politics”.

He, however, urged all concerned to wait for the inquiry report to present the real picture into the entire incident. 

“It will be premature to jump into any conclusion and blame that it was because of the PWD (B) Minister that this has happened.

So let the inquiry report come out and we will take a decision,” he assured.  

On the pending CBI cases against the UPRNN Ltd and Design Associates, Noida, the Chief Minister said the Design Associates was appointed by the previous Congress-led government headed by Dr. Mukul Sangma and not by the present MDA government.

“The appointment of the Design Associates was done by the previous government and that is something I don’t want to comment on as that was done much before we came in and that’s there,” he said.

“There was a mention about Design Associates having some kind of allegations and some CBI inquiry going on – that factor you have to ask the Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma on what the details were and why that time they appointed the Design Associates,” he added.

The Chief Minister said allegations and inquiries could be happening but till conviction doesn’t take place one cannot deny anybody from participating or to work.

“Inquiry will happen but until and unless a conviction takes place I think it is unfair to judge somebody on the basis of allegation or inquiry that is taking place,” he asserted. 

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