Employees working in the accounts section of the chief minister’s secretariat had a providential escape when a portion of the ceiling fell on a table they were working on around 11.15am.
The incident has put a question mark on the maintenance work carried out by the building construction department in the state-run offices. Old-timers in the secretariat, however, claimed that they had not witnessed any maintenance work in the recent past.
Fifty-five-year-old Krishna Prasad Sinha, who has been working as a clerk in the accounts section for the past 30 years, was injured on his right hand. “Around 11.15 am, while I was working, a portion of the ceiling came crashing down. I tried to save my head and hence raised my right hand instinctively,” said Sinha.
The accounts section is located on the premises of Samvad where chief minister Nitish Kumar releases the government’s annual report card. The Samvad building was constructed in 2009-10 with state-of-the-art facilities.
However, the accounts section on the same premises is a far cry from the high-tech Samvad. At the accounts section, situated behind Samvad, employees still work under an old fan with heavy blades.
Another employee of the accounts section, said: “The engineers come every fortnight to conduct the maintenance work at Samvad and other works related to building. If there is any damage to the building, they carry out repair work immediately, whereas the same officials do not even look at this building. We are left at the mercy of God.”
Another employee working in the chief minister’s secretariat for the past 10 years, said: “The officials of the building construction department are only bothered about the chief minister’s chamber and Samvad. They do not even look at this side and no maintenance work is carried out. ”
The engineer in chief of the building construction department, Rajendra Prasad Choudhary, said: “So far as this mishap is concerned, I do not have much idea. You should talk to executive engineer Amrit Ram.”
When this correspondent contacted Amrit, he admitted that the building was quite old. “The last maintenance work was carried out around a year back. If there is urgency, the department carries out work on a priority basis,” he added.