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Meghalaya Assembly panel to ask IIT engineers to probe dome collapse

“In this particular project (construction of the assembly building), 40 per cent of the project is allowed to be subcontracted to a different company for the construction”

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Shillong: The High Power Committee (HPC) of the Meghalaya Assembly on Tuesday decided to appoint a third-party to probe the collapse of the dome over the under-construction assembly building in the New Shillong Satellite Township on Sunday, besides to audit the safety of the entire assembly building after the collapse of the 78-foot tall steel dome and to keep the construction of the building in abeyance, Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh said.

“The HPC has suggested that IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) engineers either from IIT-Guwahati or IIT-Kolkata or IIT-Delhi to carry out a structural audit of the under-construction assembly building and to find out the reasons behind the collapse of the dome,” Lyngdoh told reporters after chairing the HPC meeting.

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Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Public Works Department (PWD) Buildings Minister Dasakhiat Lamare, Leader of Opposition Dr. Mukul Sangma, Suspended Congress legislator Dr. Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh, Chief Secretary Rebecca Vanessa Suchiang, besides senior government 
officers and PWD engineers attended the HPC meet.

“The State PWD has been tasked to write to all the three IITs and any of them will be selected and that too depends on the readiness of these IITs to conduct the safety audit and investigation into the collapse of the dome. The reports of the IIT engineers should be submitted at the earliest so that the next course of action will follow,” Lyngdoh, who is also the Chairman of the HPC, said.

Moreover, the Speaker informed that the HPC decided to keep the construction work in the main Assembly building in abeyance until the audit team submits its findings.

“We will not allow anyone to remove that debris. Only after the IIT appointed by the department suggests or advises us, we can remove those debris for safety measures,” Lyngdoh said, adding that outsiders or unauthorised persons will not be allowed to enter the under-construction building for safety measures.

Asked what action has been taken against the contractor of the assembly building, the Speaker said, “The next course of action or the next HPC meeting will be convened after we get the report from the audit team. As of now, it is very premature for us to take such a decision or action.”

The Speaker said that he was not aware if construction works of the new assembly building can be subcontracted to other companies, and further said, “Those are technical parts of the agreement, I think we have to look into the agreement (if) it is there or not… I am not aware of it as that has been done by the PWD (Buildings).”

However, PWD (Buildings) Minister Dasakhiat Lamare said that basically it is allowed but only a small percentage.

“In this particular project (construction of the assembly building), 40 per cent of the project is allowed to be subcontracted to a different company for the construction,” he informed. 

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