Continuing its litany of actions since the Varanasi overbridge collapse tragedy on Tuesday that killed 12 and injured 25, the Yogi Adityanath government on Thursday removed the UP Bridge Corporation Limited’s controversial managing director Rajan Mittal with immediate effect. He was replaced by JK Srivastava. Meanwhile, the three member probe committee appointed by the CM and headed by APC Raj Pratap Singh submitted its report into the tragedy. While exact details are yet to be revealed, sources in the know claimed that the committee has squarely blamed the UP Bridge Corporation, its engineers and contractors for their negligence that led to the tragedy.Mittal had held a press conference on Wednesday, wherein he had blamed the ‘natutal disaster’ and traffic police for the loss of human lives in the over-bridge collapse. The committee, however, has noted in its report that safety measures were not followed by the agency after placing the beams on the pillars. It found that the beams were not properly interlocked and traffic was allowed under the overbridge, resulting in loss of human lives.The MD had stated that the beams might have got dislocated during the recent storm in Uttar Pradesh and it fell due to the snapping and failure of the bearings. Mittal had also alleged that the Varanasi traffic police did not divert the traffic despite their repeated requests. District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra, however, denied the charge and said that the agency was given all support from the local authorities.Previously in 2014, Mittal was removed from the position by then Akhilesh Yadav government after he allegedly favoured a contract worth Rs 1,200 crore to companies known to him. However, despite facing corruption charges and two FIRs in connection with poor quality construction of bridges in Bundelkhand and Lucknow, in 2016, he was given the dual charge of MD UP Bridge Corporation and head of UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam by deputy CM and PWD minister Keshav Maurya.Aditionally, a team of the Crime Branch of the CID reached Varanasi to grill and record the statements of the four suspended officials and engineers who were looking after the construction of the overbridge from Lakhaghat to Lehartara Cancer Hospital. On Wednesday, a case was registered against the corporations, its officials and contractors.The team also seized all documents from the corporation office in Varanasi and questioned contractors and suppliers of building material. They also took samples of the construction material and sent it to Roorkee for quality examination.WORK STALLEDMeanwhile, work at over 350 projects of the UP Brifge Corporation was stalled following the state government’s directives to check safety measures
Uttar Pradesh

Varanasi

Akhilesh Yadav

Lucknow

Bundelkhand

Yogi Adityanath

Rajan Mittal

Pratap Singh

UP Bridge Corporation

Yogeshwar Ram Mishra

varanasi flyover collapse

VARANASI TRAGEDY

JK Srivastava

Raj Pratap Singh

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VARANASI TRAGEDY: UP Bridge Corp’s MD Rajan Mittal shunted out