Lucknow: The very firm which was responsible for constructing the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, which saw a dramatic rescue after four persons had a lucky escape when a car they were travelling in fell into a deep ditch as a portion of the service road on the Expressway caved-in, was allegedly awarded a bonus of Rs 58 crore by the UP government for completing the project well before the deadline.
As per the report published in an English daily, the Agra-based firm PNC Infratech Ltd belongs to brother of Agra Mayor Naveen Jain from BJP. The firm had constructed a stretch of 56.134 kms on Expressway from Agra to Firozabad.
The unfortunate incident took place near Wajidpur under Dauki area on Agra-Lucknow Expressway. As per the information, the occupants of car were going to Kannauj from Mumbai. The travellers somehow ended up on the service road and did not realise that a portion of the road had caved in after it weakened because of excessive rain in the last three days in and around Agra.
Speaking to an English daily, Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority CEO Awanish Kumar Awasthi stated, “Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) has been called to conduct a thorough investigation and submit its report within 12 days to ascertain the cause of damages on the Agra-Firozabad stretch of the expressway. PNC Infratech had constructed the stretch and is now bound to restore it at its own cost.
“The cave-in occurred due to heavy rainfall and accumulation of the water on the service lane. We have called the third party, RITES, to provide reason for water logging. The main focus of the investigation will be to check whether there is a design problem or not,” he added.
Making his stand clear on the issue, Agra Mayor Naveen Jain defended his brother’s company and blamed poor maintenance for the incident. “I do not hold any responsibility in PNC Infratech. But as a member of the family, I can say that quality construction work was done on the project. Even a third party probe by RITES had earlier found no fault with it. The stretch developed by PNC Infratech was handed over to the department earlier this year, however the maintenance work was not done as per protocol after that,” he alleged.
Interestingly, the firm PNC Infratech has now bagged two Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) orders worth Rs 2520 crore of the Lucknow-Ghazipur Six-Lane Access Controlled Purvanchal Expressway too. Recently, the foundation stone of the Purvanchal Expressway, an ambitious project of the Yogi Adityanath government, was laid down by PM Narendra Modi himself in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.