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Jagraon Bridge revamp: Two SEs put on notice over rise in cost after design change

By HT Correspondent, Ludhiana
PUBLISHED ON AUG 29, 2020 09:26 PM IST

After mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu marked an inquiry into the proposal to increase the Jagraon Bridge project cost by Rs 44 lakh for a change in the retaining wall’s design, additional municipal commissioner Rishipal Singh on Saturday issued show-cause notices to two superintending engineers, a sub-divisional officer (SDO) and a junior engineer.

Singh said during inspection, an MC team has found deviation from design, which led to increase in cost. Further, MC will get the site inspected again by experts from Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College and submit a final report with the high authorities.

The show-cause notices have been issued to former superintending engineer (SE) Harpal Singh Bhullar, who has since been transferred, and current SE Rahul Gagneja, besides the SDO and junior engineer. They have been asked to explain why the design was changed, which led to increase in the project’s cost.

A few weeks ago, the mayor had raised objections over alleged Rs 77-lakh discrepancies in the Jagraon Bridge’s retaining wall project, which is being carried out at a cost of around Rs 2.5 crore.

Finding that the officials had sought permission to increase the project cost by Rs 44 lakh on the false pretext of design change, he had marked an inquiry.

An MC official, requesting anonymity, claimed there was no discrepancy and the design was changed as there was a chance of a road cave-in during construction of the bridge, if the retaining wall and approach road would have been constructed with the old design, and “the mayor was aware of the problem.”

Additional commissioner Rishipal Singh said, “The show-cause notices have been served. From preliminary observations, it seems there were deviations in design in comparison to what was proposed initially. However, we will get the site inspected from experts of an engineering college before submitting the report.”

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