LUCKNOW: Forty-eight hours after a section of an under-construction flyover fell on moving cars and pedestrians in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi, killing 18 people, the state government has sacked UP Bridge Corporation managing director Rajan Mittal even before the accident probe report was submitted. Mittal was heading the project after he was reinstated as Bridge Corp boss after BJP stormed to power in Uttar Pradesh last year.
Mittal was under fire after the tragedy with the CM and even the PM drawing flak for loss of lives, leading to registration of an FIR against corporation officers on Wednesday for culpable homicide.
Mittal, who has a tainted past as PWD chief engineer and then as MD of Bridge Corp in the previous Akhilesh Yadav regime, had tried to defend himself by blaming the tragedy on strong winds dislodging the beams and the administration’s failure to divert traffic near the site. This angered the CM so much that he ordered Mittal’s immediate sacking, before the first report by the inquiry committee was tabled. Differences between Yogi and his deputy, PWD minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, have grown after the flyover collapse and Mittal’s sacking.
A stubborn Maurya retained his “blue-eyed boy” as acting MD of UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam, the state’s biggest construction agency, even after he was sacked from Bridge Corp.
The two construction agencies have a combined annual turnover of Rs 1 lakh crore. Mittal was once close to Samajwadi Party bosses and even served in Etawah, the backyard of then ruling Yadav clan for three years. He held cream postings in other places too during the SP regime. As allegations of corruption in allotment of work mounted, then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav sacked him