Third party to investigate Assembly dome’s collapse

Work at site to remain suspended till receipt of report

SHILLONG, May 24: The ongoing work for the construction of the main Assembly building at Mawdiangdiang in New Shillong Township will remain suspended pending the report of a third party audit on the dome’s collapse.
The decision was made by the High-Powered Committee (HPC) of the state Assembly on Tuesday at a meeting which was chaired by Speaker, Metbah Lyngdoh and attended by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma, Urban Affairs Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar, PWD (Buildings) Minister Dasakhiatbha Lamare and suspended Congress MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh, who is a member of the HPC.
The Speaker told reporters the HPC decided to have a third party audit to find out the reasons behind the dome’s collapse. He said the HPC will approach IIT-Guwahati, IIT-Kolkata and IIT-Delhi.
He also said the PWD (Buildings) has been asked to write to these institutes and depending on acceptance and availability, one of them will conduct the audit.
Lyngdoh said the audit team will also conduct a study on the safety and strength of the other portion of the building, including right wing, left wing, corridor, reception area, chambers of the Speaker and the CM as well as ground floor and basement.
The HPC is not setting any timeline but would want to get the report as early as possible, the Speaker said. He said the work at the main Assembly building will remain halted till the report is received.
Considering safety, no unauthorised person will be allowed to enter the building. The entire dome portion area will be covered to ensure there is no leakage of water, the Speaker said.
To a query, he said it is too early to take any decision on action against anyone responsible for the incident. He said the HPC will meet again after receiving the report.
Debris accumulated at the central hall will remain and nobody will be allowed to clear it. “It will be done only after the audit team advises so,” Lyngdoh said.
The PWD (Buildings) Minister said Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Limited, which is implementing the project, is allowed to sublet 40 per cent of the work according to the agreement.
“In this case, the firm has subcontracted 40% of the work to another firm as per the agreement,” the minister said.
Earlier in the day, the Speaker along with the CM, the Urban Affairs Minister, the PWD (Buildings) Minister, Chief Secretary Rebecca V Suchiang and others inspected the site where the dome collapsed on Sunday.

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