Wednesday, June 04, 2008

High drama at Hospital

Session Court overrules CJM”s order to arrest Thukchuk on medical grounds

GANGTOK, June 02:
High drama today prevailed at the Central Referral Hospital here when the Sikkim Police headed by SP East, SDPO, Gangtok and PI Sadar Thana came to arrest former minister Thukchuk Lachungpa in connection to the recent PMGSY bridge collapse at Chenzey village killing four persons.
An FIR under section 304/336/337 of IPC has been lodged against the former Minister, who is the contractor of the project at Ranipool police station under whose jurisdiction the bridge comes.
However, following Medical Superintendent’s medical certificate that Mr. Lachungpa was unable to make any kind of body movements, the Police could not take him along.
Mr. Lachungpa, the contractor of the project, who sustained injury in the accident, is under treatment at CRH with a broken rib.
The medical certificate also reads that Mr. Lachungpa has serious three rib fractures. “We have taken the permission from the CJM which directs that Thukchuk Lachungpa should be procured in the court by tomorrow 11am,” DIG Range Akshay Sachdeva told SIKKIM EXPRESS. The CJM has also issued a notice to the Medical Superintendent of CRH to make necessary arrangement to procure Mr. Lachungpa before the court, the DIG said.
However, at the time of filing this report, it was learnt from KT Bhutia, Advocate of T Lachungpa that the Session Court has overruled the CJM’s order to produce Mr. Lachungpa before the court tomorrow on medical grounds.
Interestingly, a spectacular event developed today when Abdul and MB Tamang, the supervisors of the PMGSY project revealed that the Divisional Engineer and other officials from the State Rural Management and Development Department (RM&DD) met them a day before (May 28) the bridge collapse instructing them that there should be some immediate modifications in the structure.
According to Thukchuk Lachungpa, the officials directed the supervisors to work for extra hours on May 28. “The irate supervisors initially refused to carry out the work but they were promised to pay Rs 1300 for extra work. The officers made the payment from the concerned department,” it was informed.
According to the duo supervisors, the labourers worked till midnight. It is also learnt that when the supervisors told the officials to inform the contractor (Thukchuk Lachungpa), the officials of RM&DD assured them to do so.
Talking with SIKKIM EXPRESS today, Mr. Lachungpa, who is also the chief convener of the opposition Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad Party (SHRPP) said he was not informed about the work, which was carried out in the night of May 28. “The Divisional Engineer, who was present during the casting of the bridge, was in a hurry and soon left the construction site,” he added. A photograph shows that the officials from the concerned department were present on that fateful day.
Further, the former Minister has demanded an independent investigation over the matter.
At least four labourers were killed and several injured when the casting of the concrete slab of the 2.5 km-long bridge constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to connect Chenzey from Rumtek collapsed in the evening of May 29, this year.