IVRCL denies negligence in Kolkata flyover construction (Lead, Changing Dateline)

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Hyderabad, April 1 (IANS) Hyderabad-based IVRCL, the firm building the flyover in Kolkata that collapsed on Thursday killing 24 people, has denied any negligence in the construction.

The company, under fire for its officials using the expression “act of god”, clarified that it was used only to describe that it was under no one’s control and that the reasons for the collapse were not known.

K. Panduranga Rao, group head, HR and administration, IVRCL, told reporters that they have no information about police team from Kolkata reaching Hyderabad. “Nobody has contacted us.”

The official, however, said their technical persons and legal experts had rushed to Kolkata. “We will extend all cooperation in the investigations.”

He said the reason would be known only after thorough investigations. A legal advisor of the company referred to some media reports that it was like a bomb blast.

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“Like the whole nation we are also extremely shocked and moved by this incident. It takes time to put everything in place,” the official said.

Claiming that quality material was used in the construction, they said there was no compromise on the quality.

“Same material used for 59 slabs and pillars, nothing happened how can only 60th fall down. We are also surprised and curious to know,” he said.

Replying to a query, Panduranga Rao said in projects like these there will be many sub-contractors but did not give the numbers. “There is no politics involved,” he said, when asked to comment on allegations by opposition parties in West Bengal that the contracts were given to leaders belonging to ruling Trinamool Congress.

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On how the construction was taken up in a congested area, he said all approvals were given by the Kolkata municipal authorities.

In New Delhi, a spokeswoman of the now blacklisted IVRCL told reporters: “The work started after the approval of the construction material.”

“The incident has shocked us and we are ourselves anxious to know the reason behind the collapse,” the spokeswoman said.

“The investigation takes time. We don’t have any information so far. We are there to cooperate in the investigation,” she added.

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