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Meghalaya’s Assembly Building Collapse: Speaker ponders independent probe

Meghalaya’s Assembly Building Collapse: Speaker ponders independent probe

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SHILLONG: Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh said he will ask the High-Powered Committee (HPC) to launch an independent investigation into why the recently installed central dome of the new Mawdiangdiang Assembly building collapsed on Sunday.

"I will propose this at the HPC meeting tomorrow. Perhaps one of the members has a better idea. However, we must ensure that the investigation is completed and its findings are submitted as soon as possible," he told reporters on Monday after a review meeting with the engineers overseeing the construction of the new Assembly building.

Lyngdoh also stated that he will push for a third-party audit of the building's left and right wings by any agency. "We need to determine whether the collapse of the dome atop the central hall affected the two portions of the building."

The Speaker stated that there could only be two possible causes for the dome's collapse: faulty design and construction error.

"I discussed the matter with Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and requested that he be at the site at 11 a.m. on Tuesday for a physical inspection of the structure's damages," he said.

He added that a representative from the Delhi-based firm Design and Associate would be present during the inspection to determine whether the incident was caused by the structure's faulty design. Engineers who visited the site on Monday, according to Lyngdoh, were unable to determine the cause of the collapse due to debris.

He stated that the project's tender was floated by PWD (Buildings) because the Assembly Secretariat lacks technical experts. "PWD (Buildings) officials are there to monitor the project's construction," he explained.

Concerning the demand for a CBI investigation into the collapse, Lyngdoh stated that the priority was to fix responsibilities.

"My role is to ensure better coordination among various departments for the project's smooth implementation," he explained. He further added that he was unaware if the project cost had been revised and that the tender value of the project was Rs 127 crore.