‘Criminal breach of trust’: Police housing colony in ‘dilapidated state’, contractor booked in Vadodara

The Vadodara city police Wednesday booked a civil construction contractor of the police housing colony in Pratapnagar for ‘criminal breach of trust’ for alleged substandard construction work.

The police alleged that apartment blocks, built by the contractor in 2000, have turned “dilapidated due to substandard construction work”, thereby violating the order of the Gujarat State Police Housing Corporation Limited (GSPHC), which awarded the contract.

The FIR lodged at Makarpura police station by Jigar Shah, Executive Engineer (Civil), GSPHC, has named civil construction contractor KR Makwana and his proprietory firm M/s KR Makwana, based in Bhalej in Anand district, as an accused.

“The contractor handed over the said apartments in the stipulated time period on December 16, 2000, for a total cost of Rs 1.49 crore that was paid to him… Despite receiving the entire sum of money for the construction, the contractor has constructed the structure of substandard quality, which is why the apartments have dilapidated within a matter of a few years. When the police contacted a structural expert to visit the site and examine the structure, the police were informed that the structure is ‘not safe and should be evacuated’,” the FIR states.

The FIR further adds that the accused executed the work of “necessary structural retrofitting” based on the recommendation of the structural audit expert and also provided with a certificate of structural stability on July 2, 2020. The contractor also provided an undertaking that his firm and he would take responsibility to repair the structure should any other deficiency be pointed out in the construction by the experts. “However, until today, neither the contractor nor his firm has brought in the necessary manpower to complete the repair works,” the FIR further reads.

Makwana has been booked under the Indian Penal Code Sections for criminal breach of trust by public servant, banker, merchant or (public) agent (409) and disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public
servant (188).

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