West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said a law would soon be introduced to seize properties of contractors if the projects undertaken by them fail to meet the standards set by the state government.
Referring to the collapse of an overhead water reservoir in Bankura's Sarenga last month, Banerjee directed the Public Health Engineering Department (PHE) principal secretary Manoj Pant to lodge an FIR against the contractors.
"We have sanctioned Rs 2,000-crore (drinking water) project for this district and a reservoir was built which collapsed within three years. Who was the contractor? Lodge an FIR against them. I tell you, the same contractor has to redo it or else the state government will seize his property. I will soon bring a law," Banerjee said at an administrative review meeting here.
The overhead reservoir, having a capacity to store 700 cubic meters of water, completed at a cost of Rs 165 core just three years ago, collapsed on January 22.
Incidentally, the state government has directed the Kolkata-based contractor to rebuild the water reservoir on his own expense based on a design prepared by engineers of the public health engineering department, a senior official of the department said.
Banerjee in the meeting enquired about the reason behind the delay in connection of drinking water lines to households and directed the senior IAS officer to "control the contractors and if needed change them".
"I want to know why the project of door-to-door water connection is being delayed despite repeated instructions. I am facing lots of problems because of the PHE department. Do the officers in the department sleep and don't work," she said.
Alleging that the departments like PHE and Land have become places of vested interest, she directed the chief secretary Rajiva Sinha to look into the matter and "destroy such dens" at the earliest.
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