| The report published in The Telegraph on July 21, 2011 |
Patna, July 27: Taking serious note of the faulty construction of Buddha Smriti Park’s central stupa, the principal secretary of the state urban development department has recommended termination of the contract of Parshwanth Developers Limited, the firm assigned the task of constructing it.
The Telegraph, in its July 16 and July 21, 2011, editions had reported about the faults in the Buddha Sm- riti Park.
Sources said the principal secretary, Shashi Shekhar Sharma, suggested confiscation of the deposit money of the firm and its blacklisting in a meeting convened on July 25 to assess the condition of the park. Taking stock of the situation, he proposed involving a team of experts from IIT, Roorkee, to conduct a quality assessment of the entire civil structure at the park. Repeated attempts to contact Sharma proved futile.
Anupam Kumar Suman, the managing director of Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo), the agency responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the shrine at the park, told the principal secretary in the meeting that Parshwanth Developers Limited did not act seriously despite repeated reminders to it on the poor state of the stupa.
The sources said in the light of the faulty work done by Parshwanth Developers Limited and its delay in resolving the technical faults at the central stupa, the principal secretary recommended to stop any kind of payment to the firm. BUIDCo also apprised the principal secretary of the irregularity in the installation of air-conditioners at the meditation centre. Sharma, the sources said, instructed BUIDCo to issue a final warning to Voltas — the firm awarded the contract for installing air-conditioners — for finishing the work.
The role of Lall and Associates — a Delhi-based architecture company that designed the monument — was also discussed in the meeting. It was observed that the basic responsibility of supervision of the construction or development work at Buddha Smriti Park was of Lall and Associates. According to clauses 4, 6.3 and 7C of the agreement between the now dissolved Bihar State Urban Development Corporation Limited and Lall and Associates, the consultant is supposed to supervise any work at the park and report any kind of fault to BSUDC.
Lall and Associates earlier passed the buck for the faulty construction of the park to the contractor. According to Clause 4 of an agreement between Bihar State Urban Development Corporation Limited and Lall and Associates, dated May 18, 2009, the consultant is supposed to deploy a supervising engineer at the site of construction. But no supervising engineer was appointed.
Earlier, a meeting of the Buddha Smriti Park executive committee was held at the office of Patna divisional commissioner of K.P. Ramaiyah, on July 20. He had said the committee had unanimously decided to give directives to the contractor of the park to resolve all technical faults of the central stupa at the earliest.
Parshwanth Developers Limited was asked to remove the shutter and the false ceiling of the dome. The sources said the shutter (wooden planks to support casting) and cloth ceiling were not removed despite instructions from the engineers of BUIDCo.