Officials, politicians in a ‘fix’ as video claims no cement found in new bridge

Cutting across party lines, the AIADMK and the DMK functionaries of Pernambut, as also the local BDO and the panchayat union engineer, went into a damage-control mode when Pernambut town Congress committee president G Suresh Kumar uploaded photos and a video on social media, showing the sides of a bridge constructed recently, which could be broken with fingers as no cement was used in its construction
Officials, politicians in a ‘fix’ as video claims no cement found in new bridge
A view of the damaged portion of the bridge in Pernambut

Vellore

The bridge, constructed at a cost of Rs 89 lakh by the Rural Development Department across a local river, connects Pernambut town with Onkuppam, and is located in the Kothapalli village panchayat. Even during construction, the facility faced issues when locals stopped work when it was found that no cement was used in building the pillars supporting the spans.
Speaking to DT Next, Suresh Kumar said, “I go for a daily walk on that road and on Tuesday when I causally touched the gradient connecting the bridge it crumbed in my hands revealing only sand and no trace of cement. I immediately took pictures and sent to Vellore Collector A Shamuga Sundaram, Pernambut BDO and the panchayat union engineer as also the DMK and the AIADMK functionaries.”
Elaborating further, he added, “I also threatened to start an agitation with my partymen till the collector visited the spot. Immediately, I received calls from the local government officials and party functionaries pleading that I do not blow up the issue further. Officials said they would rectify the ‘mistake’ in two days.”
When this reporter contacted PU engineer Sughan, he said, “The damage to the sides of the approach road was caused by a JCB which was removing some pipes from the area. Also, the damage could be due to locals using that area to go to a burial ground nearby.”
“Sughan’s words are contrary to the truth as the path to the burial ground is some distance away. Also, no JCB removed pipes from the area,” Suresh Kumar said. A town where the Dravidian majors functionaries work in tandem, they too approached Suresh Kumar pleading that “he give up his proposed agitation as they would ensure that repairs were effected immediately”.
However, as Suresh Kumar stuck to his stand, all eyes are on the Collector to see how he reacts to this blatant violation of all bridge-building norms.

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