To look into the reasons behind the collapse of a wall of the railway underbridge (RUB), which was inaugurated by Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal nine months back, technical adviser to the chief minister, BS Dhaliwal on Sunday visited the spot on the Bathinda-Mansa road.
After the collapse of the RUB wall on Saturday, it was closed for traffic, causing inconvenience to commuters. Buses from Mansa dropped passengers near the RUB on Sunday and then they had to board mini-buses, which reached Bathinda bus stand after passing through villages.
Dhaliwal reviewed the condition of the bridge and instructed the administration to clear the debris and pump out water from the RUB so it can be reopened for traffic.
In the initial inquiry, Dhaliwal found that the no escape route for water in the RUB led to the collapse of the wall.
Speaking to the media, Dhaliwal said, “Our priority is to open the RUB for traffic. I had directed officials to speed up the work so that by Monday morning we are able to open it for traffic from one side. Both the sides will be made functional within two-three days.”
Asked about the reason behind the incident, he said, “It would be too early to comment that whether the design was faulty or substandard material was used in the construction by the contractor. Let the inquiry be complete after which stringent action would be taken against whosoever is found guilty.”
He added that government has constituted a committee headed by him along with SDM Damanjit Singh, chief engineer (PWD) KK Garg and a railway official as members to look into the lapses that led to this incident. Dhaliwal said, “Payment of the contractor has been withheld by the department as his bill amounting to R40 lakh was pending. The role of contractor would be probed to see if substandard material was used.” The RUB was constructed by the building and road department in 2010.