The executive engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD), Ransom Sutnga, said on May 22 that the dome of the Meghalaya Assembly building in Mawdiangdiang collapsed due to faulty design.
“The weight of the dome is so heavy,” Sutnga said.
He went to explain that GRC moulding, which weighs a total of 10 tonnes, was used to cover the dome, and false columns were erected to support it.
“However we had to follow the design since it was done by the company and even the drawing was vetted by IIT Rorkee,” Sutnga said.
According to him, as a civil engineer, his analysis was that the dome fell because it was too heavy and the false columns sitting on the cross beams could not hold it. The weight of the dome is 70 tonnes while it’s height is 78 feet.
Sutnga said that it will take two weeks to clear the debris, though the timeline for completion of the project has been set back by eight months. He added that the area where the dome sits will be redesigned.
“After redesigning, our concept will be a simple structure and we will make sure that such things don’t happen again in the future,” Sutnga said.
The executive engineer also refuted news reports that five people died after the dome collapsed.
The construction of the new assembly building was entrusted to Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Ltd, a PSU of the Uttar Pradesh government, and it is being constructed on 80 acres land at Mawdiangdiang in the New Shillong Township.
The project had started on June 15, 2019, and the stipulated time for its completion had been set as 36 months, with an estimated cost of Rs 145 crore, though the quotation that came in from the company was Rs 127 crore.
It may be mentioned here that the state has not had a permanent Legislative Assembly building for years ever since a fire, which destroyed the old assembly building at Khyndailad way back in 2001.
The delay in the construction of the new building was also due to problem in finalisation of the land.