Former PWD minister Badal Chowdhury.Image: Northeast Now

Former Tripura PWD Minister in the Manik Sarkar led Left Front government of Tripura and one of the longest-serving MLAs Badal Chowdhury was interrogated by the Crime Branch in connection to the construction of the flyover in Agartala which was completed in early 2018 but yet to be inaugurated.

Chowdhury was interrogated for long six hours by deputy inspector general of police, Crime Branch,  R Gopala Krishnan Rao in the Crime Investigation Department (CID) office 3 at A D Nagar police reserve.

After completion of the interrogation, speaking to reporters the former minister and present MLA said that during the last 20 years and during his tenure as PWD minister several buildings, secretariat, assembly, new Governor house, High Court, Pragna Bhavan, NRCC indoor stadium, bridges, hospital, airport  and other developmental works have taken place which the people of Tripura will remember for at least the next 100 years.

He added that the engineers have worked day and night for these construction works but now witch-hunting is going against them.

Chowdhury named two other former chief engineers Sunil Bhowmik and Somesh Das who have retired from their posts long back but now FIR has been filed against them.

He also claimed that the construction agency of the flyover Nagurjana Construction Company (NCC) is one of the reputed and experienced agencies which has completed the work of NIT in the State besides engaged with the super-specialty block of G B hospital, international airport and also made several other works in other state including flyovers.

Choudhury informed that for quality monitoring various agencies for Jadavpur University, Indore and Bangalore and local NIT were there constantly and laboratory was also set up for checking all construction materials.

Moreover, round the clock a separate agency V K Infrastructure wqs engaged there for this purpose.

However, the ex-PWD Minister accepted that may be the cost of the construction may have increased to some extent as the project could not the completed at the scheduled time and price of construction materials keep increasing but after the new government came to power the flyover was examined by a premier agency like CSIR-CRII for its construction and structure and it has concluded that it is fit for the opening, again financial audit has been completed by three months time and in this case also it has been suggested that it is fit for opening.

Chowdhury informed that he had replied whatever was asked by the IG and it is not interrogation rather he wanted to clarify few issues.

He also said that along with the IG, SP in-charge Manik Das, SDPO Shourab Sen was present during the interrogation.

Meantime, according to a source, the flyover was to be constructed at a cost of Rs 240 crores but on date, Rs 248 has been paid to the construction agency.

Pinaki Das

Pinaki Das is Northeast Now Correspondent in Agartala. He can be reached at: pinakianisk@gmail.com

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