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Probe Ima market construction works: BJP

By Newmai News

IMPHAL, Jan 5 - The Manipur unit of BJP has demanded a formal probe into the alleged poor quality of material used in the construction of the three markets in the heart of Imphal city.

A sizeable portion of the markets � walls and pillars � developed cracks due to the powerful tremor measuring 6.8 on Richter Scale that struck the State on Monday.

Addressing a press meet at the party office, Manipur BJP president Th Chaoba alleged the three buildings of Ima markets in Khwairamband Keithel were built without checking any quality and hence a formal investigation should be initiated against those who constructed them.

He said the extensive damage caused to the market buildings has clearly indicated these were of poor quality and hence Central agencies, like the CBI or NIA, should probe the construction works. Chaoba demanded that the market structures be demolished and new ones constructed.

The Ima market buildings were constructed by Simplex Infrastructures Ltd and they were inaugurated by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in 2010. The market is entirely run by women.

Shortly after the earthquake hit the State, hundreds of women vendors protested at the market complex and criticised the Government.

The Keithel Phambi Apunba Lup and Manipur Keithel Nupi also demanded that the CBI or NIA should investigate the alleged construction defects.

However, Public Works Minister Dr Kh Ratankumar told media-persons that the Ima markets were constructed by the National Building Construction Company Limited and that the State PWD had no role in the construction of the buildings.

Addressing reporters here, Ratankumar admitted that quality was never checked during the construction of the market buildings.

The minister added that the Union Cabinet Secretary has been informed about the alleged market construction defects and that three experts from IIT Roorkee are likely to visit the State on January 7 to inspect the current status of the markets.

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