Footbridge constructed under MGNERAGA collapses before inauguration in Poonch

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Inquiry ordered; 3 officers suspended, two others disengaged 

MS Nazki

POOCH: Government on Wednesday suspended three officers and disengaged two others after a foot bridge collapsed at Loran area of this border district in Jammu.

The bridge was yet to be inaugurated formally. Reports and locals told news agency GNS that a foot bridge at Loran (Barachar Panchayat) ward No: 2 collapsed suddenly on Wednesday morning.

 “The bridge was constructed under MGNERAGA scheme at a cost of Rs 7 lakh few months back”, locals said. Locals alleged that the officials in nexus with the contractors embezzled the more than half of the allotted amount while sub-standard items including cement and iron was used in the construction.

Meanwhile, the locals of the area brought the issue of collapsing the bridge into the notice ACD Poonch Mukhtar Ahmad.

The ACD immediately ordered action against five officials of the Loran block.

“In continuation of this office order no. ACDP/818 of 2018, dated 17/01/2018 and consequent upon the collapse of foot bridge by the Rural Development Department in ward no 2 of Bharacharh Panchayat of block Loarn and as directed by Minister of RDD the following officials of the department are hereby placed under suspension /attachement/disengangement”, reads the order, a copy of which lies with news agency GNS said.

Abdul Qadeer, AEE, Mustafa Ahmad, AE and Mir Baz, VLW have been suspended and attached with Directorate Rural Development office Jammu. While the order according to GNS reads that two more employees Firdous Ahmad (TA)  and Shahnaz Akhter (GRS Panchayat Bharacharh) were disenganged.

Moreover, Block Development Officer Mohd Naseem has been directed to explain his position within two days time “otherwise strict action will be taken against you”, the order reads further.

Meanwhile, a three member committee has been constituted for detailed enquiry report in this regard.

The members of the committee include Qadeer Ul Rehman, District Panchayat Officer, Poonch, Ashiq Rafeeq Malik, BDO, Poonch and Mohd Ismail, Assistant Director, Planning ACD office Poonch.

The bridge according to the sources was to be inaugurated next month. (GNS)