The contractor and the engineer arrested after the roof of a cremation ground in Muradnagar collapsed, killing 25 men, will be booked under the National Security Act, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered Tuesday. Loss to the government in the incident and compensation to be paid to families of the victims will be borne by the accused, who have been arrested. Each family will be granted compensation of Rs 10 lakh.
Adityanath issued orders to this effect on Tuesday and said that district magistrates, divisional commissioners, engineers and contractors will be answerable if construction quality is found to be substandard.
He also said a task force has already been constituted to check the quality of construction work in every district. It has been tasked to conduct surprise checks of the quality of all construction work in the district on projects exceeding Rs 50 lakh.
The CM also ordered officers to prepare reports for every major project thrice. The accused contractors, Ajay Tyagi and Sanjay Garg, were arrested from Muzaffarnagar on Monday night by Ghaziabad Police as they were allegedly planning to abscond after reaching Delhi in the dead of the night, police said.
Tyagi runs the firm M/s Ajay Tyagi Contractor which was awarded the contract to build the shelter, released in February, 2019. The accused during interrogation told police that he was given Rs 26 lakh as the first instalment for the project in March while the second installment of Rs 16 lakh was given four months later. The work was due to be completed in two months, the contractor told police.
Ghaziabad police released a statement in which it claimed that Tyagi had confessed to inflating the cost by mentioning work that was completed only on paper.
“If the work was not carried out on time, the money given for the project would have lapsed. Hence I asked for Sanjay Garg’s construction firm to help me in the project along with another company. We all worked on the crematorium construction together. The work involved the repair of the roof and walls and the beautification of the entire area. All of us added extra work on paper in order to inflate the bill. On the advice of the Junior Engineer, I also paid him and another official a total of Rs 16 lakh even before the construction began. I, along with government officials, was responsible for the low-quality construction,” the police statement quoted Tyagi as saying.
The police, following interrogation, have directed the circle officer to add relevant sections of the anti-corruption act in the FIR. Police will be including the inquiry report of the department concerned in their chargesheet.