Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh has decided to propose for an independent inquiry into the collapse of the dome of the new Assembly building at Mawdiangdiang, New Shillong Township.
After chairing a meeting on Monday, Lyngdoh said that personally, he was very upset and disappointed as he never expected that such an incident would take place.
“It was a big blow as the entire dome portion came down and hit the main mandap floor and went right up to the ground floor,” he informed.
The Speaker said as far as his understanding is concerned there are two reasons that may have led to the Sunday disaster as it could either be the design error or the construction error.
Engineers of the PWD (Buildings) along with the consultant from Delhi and contractors were present during the meeting.
“They have been trying to explain to me to some extent but I was not satisfied,” he said.
In view of this, Lyngdoh said he personally feels that there has to be an independent inquiry which will find out the root cause that led to this collapse and there has to be a third party audit team to thoroughly audit the safety of the right wing and left wing of the new Assembly building.
“I will propose this tomorrow before the HPC and it is up to the members of the HPC. But I would like to see that the inquiry should not take too long as it is going to hamper the construction work,” he said.
He added, “Though it is very challenging but this should not put us back, we have to complete it if not within this year but by the early part of next year”
He also wondered how the dome of the Assembly could collapse when there was no earthquake incident in the state. “Thank God, the incident happened at night when all workers had left the construction site,” he said.
He said that the third party may be from IIT Guwahati or Delhi to see that the rest of the new building is intact and does not have any problem as far as the structure is concerned adding they will also audit whether it is fit to go ahead with the dome idea on the central wing.
On the demand for a CBI probe into the incident, Lyngdoh however said, “I want an independent inquiry which will satisfy me and the people of the state.”
When asked, the Speaker said the government should fix responsibility for the collapse of the dome.
“Somebody has to be responsible for the collapse of the dome and it is up to the government to do it (fix responsibility)…,” he added.
Lyngdoh has decided to take up physical inspection of the Assembly building.
“The Chief Minister called me this morning and we discussed the incident. I had requested him to be there at the site tomorrow for physical inspection to see to what extent the damage has taken place. Thereafter, we will have a meeting of the HPC,” he informed.
According to him, the consultant will also assess the damage and the reason for the collapse of the dome.
The Speaker however said that it is too premature to say as to how many months it will now take to complete the building.
Lyngdoh said that he was not aware of any dissent note to go ahead with the construction of the dome.
On the allegation that a company which has been rejected during the tendering process was given a sub contract for construction of the new Assembly building, the Speaker assured to raise the issue tomorrow during the meeting of HPC.
“Therefore, the HPC will sit and take a decision on the entire issue,” he said.