Burnt by fire but ready to be singed again by its flame. That appears to be the administration’s callous stand where it comes to awarding prestigious contracts and/or inspection of the same to suspect project management consultants (PMC). And executing its orders are the government agencies deployed for civic infra.
Even though Multimedia Pvt Ltd was held responsible for the December 2021 Mumatpura Flyover collapse during pre-stressing, a few months before its scheduled inauguration, the same project management consultant (PMC) seems to have found favour again.
A high-powered committee report, in March 2022, ruled that the quality of construction and concrete used for the Mumatpura Flyover was poor. It also recommended penalizing the PMC. However, a few months later, in July 2022, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation appointed the same PMC as inspector “to recommend ways to strengthen the crumbling Hatkeshwar flyover.” Additionally, the same PMC was allowed to go ahead with repairing the collapsed deck of Mumatpura Flyover.
The AMC commissioner also helms AUDA.
It may be recalled Ranjit Buildcon was earlier contracted by Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) to build the Mumatpura Flyover at an outlay of Rs 78.47 crore. After its deck collapsed, the inquiry committee the builder and the PMC for “poor construction work.”
On August 5, 2022, AUDA recommended suspending Ranjit Buildcon but agreed with letting the PMC continue. The reason given was “no other contractor came forward to complete the flyover.”
“Five NABL-certified labs found the Hatkeshwar flyover had just 20% of the requisite compressive strength. In this case, contractor Ajay Engineering, stood accused of using poor quality concrete. The flyover, built at a staggering Rs 40 crore, suffered from ‘concrete crushing’ in 2021, just four years after its inauguration. It was closed to traffic in July 2022,” shared a senior official from the AMC engineering department.
However, little explains using the established offender in a case as expert in the other.
Also Read: Covid On Rise In India; Logs 1,300 New Cases