The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) had repeatedly overlooked the reports of TREATS, the agency hired to inspect the quality of Vivekananda flyover construction, that clearly indicated that inferior materials were used, alleged a lawyer of one of the accused in the case on Friday.
Amit Bhattacharya, the lawyer of Tapan Kumar Dhar — a member of a quality control unit who was looking after the construction work and was arrested on Thursday — said: “The plate supplied by SAIL was not up to the mark and TREATS had brought the matter to KMDA’s notice.”
“It was then referred to the steel production company. SAIL had claimed that there was no discrepancy in terms of quality, following which tests were again conducted by the agency. TREATS stood by its earlier report that the materials did not meet the desired standards,” Bhattacharya added. But the negative reports did not prevent KMDA from using the low quality materials, the lawyer said.
Four persons — Partha Pratim Bhakta, Pradeep Kumar Nath, Mansaram Mondal and Tapan Kumar Dhar — were arrested on Thursday in connection with the flyover collapse case after being grilled by the Kolkata Police at Lalbazar. All of them were sent to six days’ judicial custody.
They have been held under sections 304 (Culpable homicide, not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 34 (Common intention) of the IPC.
Bhattacharya argued at the court of ACJM Madhumita Basu that KMDA continued the construction with the same 36mm steel plates. He also pointed out reports from another agency, RITES, which highlighted the use of poor quality sand, cement and other raw materials, and were
KMDA was left in a tight spot after several engineers of IVRCL — which was building the flyover — were arrested for their alleged involvement in the collapse. All those arrested had claimed that none of the engineers of the monitoring agency were present when the first casting was done. Following this, two KMDA officials — Paritosh Bhattacharya, chief engineer, and Santanu Mandal, executive engineer, were arrested in June by the Kolkata Police.