With the quarters built a little over a decade ago at Goregaon for the constabulary of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) already crumbling, the Maharashtra State Police Housing & Welfare Corporation (MSPHC) Ltd has ordered an inquiry to find out why the structures have been rendered non-habitable so soon.
Director General of Police, MSPHC, Arup Patnaik said a public works department (PWD) engineer had been asked to inquire into the case and probe if substandard materials were used for the construction of the quarters. “We are expecting the report soon,” he told The Indian Express.
The inquiry was ordered last month and sources said the report was expected within a fortnight. The MSPHC is a public limited company that looks into the housing and welfare needs of the Maharashtra Police.
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Accordingly to sources, the quarters meant for constables attached with the SRPF were constructed in 2003 by Tolani Builders. After the construction, the quarters were handed over to the PWD for maintenance and structural audits.
In 2013, the MSPHC got a structural audit conducted by a private firm that said the 461 quarters (13 buildings) were not inhabitable and a few of the structures even collapsed in 2013. “The scope of the inquiry entails to probe how the just over a decade-old quarters were rendered unfit to stay; if there has been any lack of supervision on the part of the architecture or the project management consultants or the technical staff at MSPHC, including its engineers, so as to fix the responsibility.
The inquiry will also look if there were any cost escalations and delay in the project,” said a home department officer privy to the inquiry.
SRPF is the armed wing of the Maharashtra Police whose primary jobs entail maintenance of law and order, disaster management, anti-militancy operations and security of vital installations.
Meanwhile, in a related development, the MSPHC has blacklisted 200 architects and is now outsourcing most of the talent. “Around 25 architects and an equal number of structural engineers are being hired on contract basis. The contractors, who have been blacklisted, were found flouting the tender norms and using sub-standard materials in their constructions. This is to ensure that the public corporation uses new talent to its advantage and give best of the facilities to its men,” a senior officer explained.