Varanasi flyover tragedy: UP Bridge Corporation MD removed

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday removed the Managing Director of the Uttar Pradesh Bridge Corporation, Rajat Mittal, over the Varanasi incident where part of an under-construction flyover caved in, killing 15 persons on Tuesday evening, officials said.

Mittal has been replaced by J.K. Srivastava.

Order to relieve him of his duties with immediate effect had also been served on Mittal, an official told IANS.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, informed sources said, was very miffed at the incident and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who also holds the charge of Public Wirks department (PWD), was asked to give the marching orders to Mittal.

Earlier in the day, samples of iron beams, cement, concrete and other construction material used in the collapsed Varanasi flyover were sent for “quality and standards test” to IIT-Roorkee in Uttarakhand.

Meanwhile, a three-member team set up by the Uttar Pradesh government to probe the falling of two beams of the under-construction flyover continued with its investigations for the second consecutive day on Thursday.

The disaster on Tuesday evening killed 15 persons, injured half a dozen and flattened many two and four-wheeler vehicles.

The team led by Agriculture Production Commissioner Raj Pratap Singh also visited the site in front of the local Cantt Railway Station, recorded statements of witnesses and held detailed deliberations with officials of the Uttar Pradesh Bridge Corporation and the district administration, besides getting it photographed by a drone.

The team, which has been mandated to look into all aspects of the tragedy, has also recorded statements of suspended officials K.R. Soodan, Rajesh Kumar and Moolchand.

It also spoke to Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agarwal, District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra and some police officials and took details of the project.