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Uttam wants designers and executing agency to take responsibility for Medigadda barrage fiasco

Minister for Irrigation N. Uttam Kumar Reddy reviewing the damage to the piers of Medigadda barrage In October with officials of Irrigation department and L&T in Hyderabad on Monday.

Minister for Irrigation N. Uttam Kumar Reddy reviewing the damage to the piers of Medigadda barrage In October with officials of Irrigation department and L&T in Hyderabad on Monday.

Minister for Irrigation N. Uttam Kumar Reddy sent a stern message to the L&T officials that they can’t escape from their responsibility on the Medigadda pillars caving in and wanted the officials to fix the responsibility on both the designers and executing agency.

At a review meeting with the L&T senior management at the Secretariat over the Medigadda barrage caving in, he said the prime responsibility was to take up the repairs immediately and the government will fix the accountability later. The cause for the serious damage to the pillars must be found immediately, he told the Irrigation department officials and also the L&T team.

During the two-hour meeting, the Minister was explained by the L&T team that their responsibility was over after two years of handing over the project to the government. The clauses in the agreement were that L&T would take up repair works only if the government pays them after their responsibility was over.

Mr. Reddy asked the L&T team why they were silent for 50 days, and it was only after the new government took over that they responded. The issuance of the letter by the L&T when the incident happened that it would take up repair works also came up for discussion and the Minister wanted to know why there was no mention of the money to be spent by the government for repair works.

When the Minister asked them about the remedial action and what prevented them from taking up repair works, the L&T team apparently quoted a big figure that had to be spent for soil testing alone and there was no clarity on who would pay for it. The L&T team agreed that their engineers were involved to some extent in the design part but the final design was given by the government.

The Minister asked the officials how the design was not cleared by a third party, which is the general practice. In such projects, there is always a third-party check and both the planners and the executioners should have insisted on it, he told the officials and further said it has resulted in an enormous loss to the State exchequer. He asked the Irrigation department officials to immediately come up with a plan for repairs.

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