The flyover collapse issue today rocked the Odisha Assembly, with Opposition Congress and the BJP demanding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s resignation and the House adjourned twice till the post-lunch session. As soon as the House assembled for the day, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat asked the chief minister to give a statement on yesterday’s flyover collapse incident, in which one person died and 11 other were injured in the state capital. When Patnaik was reading out the statement, Congress and BJP legislators rushed to the Well of the House, demanding his resignation, as he also holds the Works Department. Unable to run the House, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings, first till 11.36 am and later till 3 pm. Patnaik, however, completed the statement, while the Opposition members were demanding his resignation.
He said, a case has been registered under Sections 304, 337, 338 and 34 of IPC against Panda Infra Project (India) Pvt Ltd, Bansidhar Praharaj, deputy executive engineer and Kishore Kumar Rout, assistant engineer. Both Praharaj and Rout have been placed under suspension, Patnaik said.
Executive engineer Dukhabandhu Behera has also been suspended for prima facie lapses. The case is under investigation, Patnaik informed the House. He said that a high-level enquiry by a committee comprising the Chief Engineer, Designs and Chief Engineer, Roads has been ordered.
The committee has been asked to submit its report within a week. “My government will ensure that stringent and exemplary action is taken against all persons responsible for the tragic incident,” the chief minister said, adding, that prompt actions were taken immediately after the flyover collapse.
The Opposition members were, however, unhappy with his statement and demanded Patnaik’s resignation. Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress and party legislators had moved separate notices to the Speaker for immediate discussion on the matter and suspending the Question Hour. However, the Speaker allowed the Question Hour, leading to vociferous protests from the Opposition.