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Meghalaya govt under fire for crumbling infrastructure after Assembly dome collapse

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After the dome of the under-construction Assembly building collapsed on May 22, the Meghalaya government came under fire for allegedly encouraging corruption and misappropriation of funds.

The BJP, which is part of the National People’s Party-led coalition government, has been particularly harsh on Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma. It accused him of misusing “BJP-provided” Central funds for the benefit of NPP leaders and contractors, as well as setting a bad example of governance.

Mr. Sangma should either let the CBI investigate the collapse of the 70-tonne dome and other irregularities, or resign, according to Bernard N. Marak, vice-president of the State BJP unit. “When the BJP backed the NPP, it expected good governance, all-round development, and zero corruption. “However, the Chief Minister has disappointed the BJP and the people of the state,” he said.

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“The greed of politicians, officials, and contractors is endangering lives,” state BJP president Ernest Mawrie said. What if the dome had collapsed after the Assembly building’s inauguration while the House was in session?”

Mr. Sangma was also chastised by the Congress and the Trinamool Congress for “commission raj,” which resulted in shoddy work on several infrastructure projects. They cited the collapse of a few under-construction bridges connecting strategic villages and the inter-state bus terminus (ISBT) in Meghalaya, which have been crumbling since the first rains.

The ISBT was recently opened near Shillong, the state capital. However, it has a leaking ceiling and cracked walls.

Since the old wooden one from 1937 was reduced to ashes in a fire in 2001, Meghalaya has been without a permanent Assembly building. The 60-member House is meeting in a hall in the historic Brookside Bungalow, which was once the retreat of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

The construction of the new Assembly building in Mawdiangdiang, on the outskirts of Shillong, began in June 2019 and was scheduled to be completed in August 2022. The contract for its construction was awarded to the Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam Limited.

The dome’s design was approved by IIT-Roorkee.

“We are pursuing an independent investigation to determine how the dome atop the Assembly building’s central hall collapsed and whether it impacted the structure’s two wings.” “The reasons could be faulty design or construction error,” Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh said.

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