Bhubaneswar: The Commissionerate Police on Friday morning arrested Panda Infra Projects managing director Pratap Panda on the charges of negligence leading to the collapse of a portion of Bomikhal road over bridge (ROB) and subsequent death of a labourer on Thursday night.
This was the second time Panda was arrested on same charges after a gap of eight months.
Panda was arrested on September 10 last year when a portion of the same bridge caved in, killing a businessman and injuring 11, including the deceased’s five-year-old daughter.
On Thursday night, one labourer was killed and another injured when a girder from the under-construction ROB in Bomikhal collapsed on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered a high-level probe into the mishap and declared an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the deceased’s family. He too announced that the injured would be provided treatment free of cost.
The two workers, identified as Ajay Bhumich of Sundargarh and Anand Kumar Nayak, were trapped under an iron frame weighting several kgs that collapsed over them late on Thursday night. The mishap took place right in front of Santoshi Maa temple along the Cuttack-Puri Road. The iron frame was erected to be used for a retaining wall.
Locals rescued the two and rushed the two to the Capital Hospital. While Ajay succumbed to injuries in the Capital Hospital, Anand was shifted to a private hospital.
The incident led to tension as locals staged a road blockade demanding action against the contractor firm road over bridge (ROB) Ltd which was executing the work.
It may be noted that last year on September 10, a concrete slab had fallen off the flyover which killed a businessman. The Works Department had cancelled the licence of Panda Infra Projects and blacklisted the firm. However, it was again asked to complete the work since the project was running behind schedule.