Kochi

Contractors call for independent probe into CCRC roof collapse

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KIIFB, INKEL equally responsible, they say

The Kerala Government Contractors’ Association has demanded an independent probe into the collapse of the roof of the porch of the under-construction Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC).

Speaking to The Hindu, Varghese Kannapilly, president of the association, said either there should be a judicial investigation or a probe by the Central Public Works Department or the Military Engineering Services.

The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and INKEL Ltd., the company chosen by the government as the special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the CCRC project, are equally culpable along with the contractor, said Mr. Kannampilly.

For every government contract above ₹5 crore, there is a pre-qualification test.

The contractor has to provide a valid certificate of completion of a project previously undertaken, the cost of which should be at least 40% of the new contract.

Tender not floated

No tender was floated to award the work to INKEL as it was an empanelled agency under the Industry Department.

How INKEL was awarded work also needs to be probed, said Mr. Kannampilly. Besides, there is no information about other projects undertaken by the contractors. The fact remains that those who had been awarded the work had not carried out their supervisory role properly, he alleged.

KIIFB expertise

KIIFB is said to have its own experts with automatic laboratories to evaluate work. The question remains why such expertise was not utilised at the site. INKEL also has similar facilities, but little was done in the public domain, Mr. Kannampilly said.

Meanwhile, the Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer Movement had given a letter to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan following the stoppage of construction work at CCRC. Writer M.K. Sanu, who apprised the Governor of the situation, sought his intervention in the matter.

The team of United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders on Friday visited the site. V.D. Satheesan, V.K. Ebrahim Kunju, Anwar Sadat, and T.J. Vinod were among the MLAs who visited the site.

A statement issued them called for an independent inquiry into the incident. Mr. Satheesan said the incident smacked of corruption and malpractice.

Bigger impact

The fall of the structure would have also affected the existing structure, he said, adding that an inspection by the team at the site had found that the soil was loose. Broken concrete too was being used as the foundation for columns, the statement said. Mr. Satheesan said KIIFB had not done an audit of the project.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 7:52:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/contractors-call-for-independent-probe-into-ccrc-roof-collapse/article30119946.ece

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