Even after six months, a fact-finding committee constituted to look into substandard construction material used in new buildings on Panjab University campus has failed to make headway.
In October last year, vice chancellor Prof RC Sobti had formed the three-member committee headed by senior senate member HS Gosal to probe the alleged inferior quality material used in construction. SS Randhawa, Dharinder Kumar Tayal, Prof Karamjeet Singh, all senate members, and executive engineer RK Rai were the other members of the committee.
During the senate meeting held in October 2011, Gosal had brought samples of bricks used in the construction of an indoor shooting range on the Sector 14 campus of PU. To drive his point home, he broke the bricks to apprise the members about their poor quality.
The first meeting of the committee was held within a few days of its constitution. It was decided to induct experts to judge the quality of material. However, the authorities instead inducted more members of the senate into the committee. Two more meeting of the committee were convened, but the quorum could not be completed on both occasions.
Unhappy with the development, Gosal said that it was an important issue related to the safety of faculty, students and other staff members.
Tayal said that certain suggestions were made in the first meeting for remedial steps to ensure quality construction, but things remained stuck thereafter. "We had suggested availing of services of retired officials of the UT administration, who had ample experience in construction matters," said Tayal.
When contacted, Panjab University executive engineer RK Rai said that they had removed all the substandard material from the sites and the material now being used was of required specifications.
In the past, the university authorities have been accused of deliberately constituting committees to push various issues under the carpet.
In one of the recent senate meeting, Dr Gurmeet Singh had raised objections to aimless constitution of committees. "It gives an impression that a deliberate attempt is made to delay the outcome of issues. Justice delayed is justice denied and such practice should be done away with," Gurmeet Singh said.