Dissatisfied with the officials’ explanations regarding the collapse of a water tank in Sai Baba Nagar, the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) has now decided to get the incident investigated by its own team.
The officials of urban administration department appeared before the commission on Thursday and said the remaining water tanks are being examined and the three tanks that have been inspected so far have been demolished.
They said the process is on to dismantle two more tanks. In all, there are around 110 overhead tanks in Bhopal. Surprisingly, the officials said no officer was found responsible for the tank’s collapse in Sai Baba Nagar.
Seven people were killed while nearly three dozen others were injured in the mishap that had occurred near E- 8 enclosure in Arera Colony on November 18, 2012. Expressing surprise that the tanks could not be examined in the last eight months, justice AK Saxena, chairperson, MPHRC, mentioned in his order sheet that this shows the lack of seriousness on the part of the officials.
The MPHRC chairman said tough action is necessary against the officials whose laxity was responsible for the collapse of the tank, so that the officers could realise their responsibilities as well. He mentioned that it seems that the administration would not name people whose fault or carelessness led to the mishap.
Justice Saxena said if any government officer doesn’t cooperate in the investigation then legal action would be taken against him. The next hearing of the case was fixed for August 22.
The commission had taken cognisance of the incident on the basis of newspaper reports last year. The replies were sought from the principal secretary, urban administration, and chief engineer apart from the Bhopal Municipal Corporation commissioner.
In the reply, the commission was told that the state government has constituted a technical probe committee that will present its report in 30 days. The panel then asked for a final report.
When the panel didn’t receive further information, it issued notices to the officials and asked them to present themselves at the commission.
On the basis of the officials’ versions, the commission felt that after the incident, officers wasted time so that the debris couldn’t be seized. The MPHRC has deemed that the officials’ conduct was insensitive and human rights of those affected in the mishap were violated.
KK Katia, deputy secretary, urban administration department; SK Sugani, chief engineer; and Sunil Srivastava, BMC chief engineer, had appeared before the rights panel on Thursday.
As the panel was not satisfied with their response, the commission would now get the incident investigated by its own team.