JORHAT, ,June 27 � An enquiry report submitted before the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner by two authorised technical experts of the State Public Works Department (PWD) has revealed that the Jorhat Municipal Board (JMB) had flouted approved technical guidelines while constructing a 28-metre long RCC drain along the Borpatra Road, which collapsed before its construction was completed, i.e., in April this year.
An amount of Rs 36,37,300 was spent by the JMB for construction of the drain with cover slab in an area which has witnessed flash floods and water-logging during two heavy showers in the past three weeks.
After the drain collapsed, the Deputy Commissioner entrusted two experts of the PWD, who pointed out five reasons for the incident. The collapse of the drain was protested by political and non-political groups in the city. They alleged misappropriation of public money by the concerned officials of the executing agency.
�Water-cement ratio was not maintained properly. The placing of reinforcement works were not done as per approved drawing and design,�stated the enquiry report.
Besides pointing out two other technical loopholes, the experts also found �poor quality of workmanship�, lack of proper monitoring and supervision during the construction period, for which reason the drain collapsed.
�The shuttering was not placed properly nor removed before the curing time,�the report stated.
After the experts� report revealed the flouting of technical guidelines in the drainage construction work, several socially conscious citizens demanded a probe into the spending of scarce resources released by the Central Government under various schemes for urban development in Jorhat.
�The Deputy Commissioner has promised to conduct a proper investigation into the matter. The citizens of Jorhat have a right to know whether the public money was properly spent during construction of the drainage system,� said advocate Rintu Goswami.
He felt that the wrongdoers must be brought to book after the investigation proves their involvement in misappropriation of public funds earmarked for the drainage construction.
Several senior citizens blamed some officials of the JMB for the poor construction of many drains where cover-slabs started breaking just after a year of its construction in many areas in the city.
As passers-by witnessed the deteriorating condition of several cover-slabs over the existing drains of AT Road here, they obviously blamed the executing agencies, which spent crores of public money some years ago in the construction. The technical flaws were palpable when storm water started creating flash floods in the busy areas like Garali, Tarajan and many others localities.
�The agencies concerned have duped the tax-paying citizens. We demand a high-level probe into the construction of the drainage system, where sub-standard work has become apparent even after few years of their construction,�said Siba Kalita, district president of AJYCP.