Panel seeks high-level probe into accident after visit

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Umrangso tragedy: No trace missing officials

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Oct 13: The high-powered committee, led by hill areas development (HAD) minister Sum Ronghang Sunday which visited the Umrangso tragedy site, has suggested the state government to order an independent inquiry by a team of experts to bring out the truth behind the rupture in the water pipeline in NEEPCO–run 276 MW Kopili hydro-electric project on October 7.

The high-powered team, also comprised the Autonomous District (ST) constituency MP Horen Sing Bey, Bokajan MLA Dr. Numal Momin, Haflong MLA BB Hagjer, North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) CEM Debolal Gorlosa visited the project site on Sunday for an initial inquiry into the incident.

Four persons including three officials of NEEPCO and another belong to a private firm, went missing after a pipeline to the project burst on October 7 last.

“The rupture took place in two water pipelines. A team of expert is needed to ascertain the real cause of the burst,” HAD minister Sum Ronghang said hours after the visit.

“The iron pipe line was damaged as it came in contact with acid water coming out from coal mining sited nearby Meghalaya,” Ronghang said.

“As per instruction of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, we visited the Umrangso tragedy site today,” MLA Dr Numal Momin tweeted after the visit.

Assam chief minister has constituted the team in a meeting with senior officials regarding the tragedy at Janata Bhawan on October 11.

Sonowal also directed PK Dutta, DIG(SR) to conduct an inquiry into the incident and instructed the high-powered team, led by minister Ronghang, to visit the tragedy site. During its visit, the team met the people of the area, the family members of the victims and officials of district administration and NEEPCO.

On the other hand, four missing persons have remained traceless even after six days of the incident.

NEEPCO’s independent director Vijay Gupta has reportedly claimed that the mishap at the project in Umrangso might have taken place due to ‘subversive activities’.

On October 10, a team of NC Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) had a meeting with the officials of NEEPCO for the untraced bodies of 4 employees after the incident of burst.

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