2 suspended in Pilibhit road scam

Two junior engineers have been suspended with immediate effect in the Pilibhit road scam in Uttar Pradesh.

Alok Kumar and Munir Khan from the rural engineering department (RED) have been found guilty of negligence over the supervision of the 7.2 km-long road constructed in the Puranpur tehsil circle.

Brijendra Kumar, the director and chief engineer of RED in Lucknow, told reporters that an action envisaging the suspension combined with departmental action against assistant engineer, Shailendra Chaudhary, was also recommended to the state government from his end.

In addition, an FIR was lodged against the defaulter construction firm at Puranpur Kotwali police station, he said.

The matter had been brought under the ambit of legal action after a purported video went viral on social media in which local farmers were seen peeling off the uppermost painted layer of the road with their bare hands.

The estimated cost of the road had been assessed at Rs 4.2 core.

Kumar further said that he was waiting for the report of a technical probe team headed by RED superintending engineer, A. Rahman Khan, who made a physical verification of the road’s quality.

Executive engineer of RED in Pilibhit, Furqan Ali, meanwhile said that a two-member Lucknow-based team of the state’s Rural Road Development Agency arrived at Puranpur on Tuesday for a technical inspection of the road in question.

Prima facie, it was found that the contractor had not blown the dust from the stone ballast layer of the road before laying the final coating of coal-tar mixed fine gravel.

“We are waiting for the directions of the departmental heads to rectify the defects. In the meantime, we have ensured punitive action against the construction company,” Ali added.

SHO of Puranpur Kotwali, Ashok Pal, said that following a written complaint filed by the assistant engineer of RED, Shailendra Chaudhary, the police booked the proprietor of VK construction under IPC sections 283 (causing danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation), 418 (cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may ensue to person whose interest the offender is bound to protect) and 431 (mischief by injury to public road).

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