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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Dome debacle: Now, govt more determined to complete project, says Conrad

The chief minister further assured that the government will review the third-party audit instituted by the HPC and will move forward towards the project’s completion.

SHILLONG:

Chief minister Conrad K Sangma is upbeat that the collapse of the steel dome of the under-construction Assembly building on May 21 has made the government more determined to complete the project at the earliest.

“Yes, we have had a setback, but I can assure the people of the state that we will ensure this project moves forward and are more determined to complete it. Challenges are there, but they will not bring us down,” enthused the chief minister, on May 25.

The chief minister’s statement comes a day after the high power committee (HPC) decided to carry out an audit of the under-construction building at Mawdiangdiang by an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) on May 24.

Stating that the technicalities involved in the project were complex, Conrad informed that the level or the height of the dome was higher than the one in Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.

“There are a lot of technicalities involved in the construction of this building and hence such a project was never been tried in Northeast or even, the eastern part of India. Therefore, one has to keep in mind that it is not a simple construction; it (dome) is huge and weighs hundreds of metric tons. We tried it for the first time and it would have been an iconic structure. But now, we have encountered a setback but we will keep moving forward and complete this project,” he said.

The chief minister further assured that the government will review the third-party audit instituted by the HPC and will move forward towards the project’s completion.

“Once we get the audit report we will again speak to the concerned people and stakeholders and decide on how we should move forward and complete this project,” he said.

Stating that he is not aware that the design and construction companies engaged in the project were under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for alleged irregularities committed in projects in other states, the chief minister said, “There could be many reasons why inquiries take place and to make a hasty judgement and hold a person guilty before the final inquiry report comes out, would be unfair.”

Earlier on May 24, the leader of opposition Mukul Sangma had revealed that the CBI in 2018 had sought files pertaining to the Design Associates, Noida and Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Ltd (UPRNN Ltd), the companies engaged in designing and construction of the Assembly building in Mawdiangdiang, New Shillong Township.

“I will find out the background of this entire thing,” Conrad said, before taking a jibe at the opposition, saying that ahead of elections, it is at liberty to make political statements against the government.

“That (allegation of mis-governance) is his (Mukul) opinion. You will have to ask the 38-lakh people of the state to find out the facts. Political statements fly in the run up to any election and that it is okay with me,” he said.

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