| KMSS secretary Akhil Gogoi at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos |
Jorhat, March 15: Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) general secretary Akhil Gogoi has demanded a CBI inquiry or an inquiry by a Supreme Court judge into the construction project under way at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital.
The KMSS leader alleged that the construction completed so far was of “very poor quality”, thanks to use of substandard materials and violation of the design specifications.
He said since Assam is a highly sensitive seismic zone, the buildings constructed as part of the JMCH were unsafe, that could endanger the lives of several people, including staff and visitors.
Gogoi, who along with his associates visited the construction site today, said the beams of the completed buildings and those under construction were deviated and there were a large number of cracks in the walls. He hurled a barrage of questions at National Rural Health Mission officials at the site about the quality of bricks, concrete, sand and other materials used in the construction.
The National Rural Health Mission is the supervising agency of the project, the foundation stone of which was laid by Prime Minister Manmahon Singh in August 2008.
Gogoi alleged that several bricks of the newly constructed building crumbled when tapped with a stick. Besides, the cement mixture did not have the proper ratio, leading to cracks in the wall. He said an under-construction concrete roof being built as part of the main hospital building had collapsed on March 7.
The activist also alleged that Brahmaputra Infrastructure Limited was awarded the contract for the construction of the medical college as the firm’s owner was close to chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
“We suspect that the chief minister is a business partner in the firm and so Gogoi has kept mum on the issue. Similarly, health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who usually comments on any issue under his departments, is also keeping mum,” Gogoi said.
The KMSS leader said he had resorted to a sit-in on Tuesday when the district administration prevented him from surveying the buildings.
He alleged that he was asked not to visit the JMCH by a senior district administration official today as well and was threatened with legal action, which he ignored.
A large number of police personnel was deployed at the medical college, with senior district administration and police officials following the peasant leader during his visit.