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Accidents and criminal liability (analysed from news article in The Hindu editorial)

The collapse of portion of under construction flyover in Kolkata was not an act of god or divine chance but human error and negligence. Around 25 people were crushed to death and many more injured. It points out to gross mismanagement and neglect by construction company IVRCL.

About Vivekanand Flyover:

The project was started by Left govt. in 2008 under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. It was delayed due to objection of local residents, land acquisition, mandatory clearances and cost escalation. The present CM of West Bengal, Mamta Banerjee wanted the project to be completed before the upcoming assembly polls.

More than three quarters of the flyover had been completed and the construction was being done at frenetic pace. The collapse of 100 mts. section of flyover can be attributed to nothing but failure to adhere to the safety norms and deviations from standard operating procedures by the company.

Fixation of accountability:

The scale of tragedy should make the state govt. rethink the way these projects are executed and awarded. The present govt. rather than blaming previous govt. and trying to shift responsibility for loss of lives should take corrective measures and ensure impartial investigation into the cause of the accident.

Not only the builder but also those in administration who did not discharge their regulatory and mandatory responsibilities must also be made to stand trial. At present murder charges have been slapped in the contractor.

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