Committee formed to probe GB bridge collapse

Updated August 18, 2019


[ Volunteers try to pull the ill-fated jeep out of the river in Haramosh area of Gilgit.— Dawn/File
[ Volunteers try to pull the ill-fated jeep out of the river in Haramosh area of Gilgit.— Dawn/File

GILGIT: A five-member fact-finding committee was constituted on Saturday to probe collapse of a newly-constructed wooden bridge in Jutial village of Haramosh valley, killing three persons.

Opposition Leader in Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Mohammad Shafi Khan had demanded resignation of GB minister for works and strict action against top officials of GB works department for the alleged corruption in public interest projects.

Three locals were killed and six others injured on Thursday as a vehicle crossing the bridge fell in the river when the wooden bridge collapsed.

According to an order issued by the GB government on Saturday, the competent authority had constituted a fact-finding committee comprising Ehsan Ali, additional secretary works department, Didar Shah, superintendent engineer, Tufail Mashallah, executive engineer, Shabbir Ahmed, assistant executive engineer, and Sohail Kashif, assistant executive engineer, to probe the incident occurred in Jutial village.

An FIR has been registered in Haramosh police station against GB works department officials and contractor on an application of relatives of the victims.

In the FIR, the complainants claimed that the contract for construction of the wooden bridge was awarded in 2009, but the work on it could not be started for 10 years despite release of funds.

They said on intervention of the authorities, the bridge was constructed last month, but soon after its completion, the bridge collapsed, killing three people and injuring six others.

The applicants demanded action against GB works department officials and the contractor for delaying the project and using substandard material in it.

Meanwhile, the opposition leader, in a statement, held work department officials responsible for the loss of human lives and demanded their arrest.

He also sought constitution of a judicial commission to probe the matter.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2019