Hamirpur: Three officials of the Public Works Department in Himachal Pradesh have been suspended following the collapse of a bridge slab under construction in the Hamirpur district. The suspended officials include one SDO and two junior engineers who were involved in the construction of the bridge. They have been removed from all bridge construction work in the state until further notice.

The bridge collapsed on the night of March 29, and an inquiry was immediately ordered by the state government. A three-member team from the Quality Control Wing of the Public Works Department was assigned to investigate the matter. However, when they arrived at the site, they found that the material of the broken slab was missing, leading to difficulties in collecting samples.

The contractor involved in the project claims that he removed the slab at the behest of PWD officials. Meanwhile, the Engineer-in-Chief of the Public Works Department in Shimla has issued show-cause notices to the contractor and the SDO of PWD located at Bhoranj and two junior engineers. However, their responses were not found satisfactory, and the suspended officials are now facing the possibility of further action.

The bridge and two-kilometre road project at Jahu in the Bhoranj assembly constituency of Hamirpur district was allotted to a construction company for Rs 2.42 crore in the year 2020-21. The state government is preparing to take major action against the contractor involved in the project. The incident has raised concerns about the quality of construction work being carried out in the state and has highlighted the need for stricter regulations and accountability measures.