Bankura/ Kolkata, 22 January : A massive concrete water tank of the capacity of over 50,000 gallons and built only about two years ago, suddenly collapsed like a pack of cards this afternoon at Sarenga area in the drought prone Bankura district of South Bengal taking everybody by surprise.
According to official reports, the concrete overhead circular type tank,which was built by the local Municipal authority only about 24 months ago to supply drinking water to the people of Sarenga with a capacity of over 50,000 gallons, suddenly started leaking from the middle portion before collapsing on the ground within minutes like a pack of cards at around 3 – 45 p.m.
A few office and other buildings in nearby area were also crushed under the impact of the huge water filled tank which literally fell on them with a huge thud,the local officials said.
However, none was injured in the mishap as the tank was situated in an isolated area in the midst of an agricultural field and none was present in any of the buildings near the tank.
Soon hundreds of local people and the police rushed to the spot to see whether anyone got stuck under the huge rubble. But none was found.
Later describing the incident as ‘unfortunate but a mere accident’ which could not be predicted, state minister Soumen Mahapatra said he had already ordered a high level inquiry into the incident to find out why the tank collapsed. ‘Stern action would be taken against all those found responsible’,he told this evening.
Meanwhile,local BJP MP Subhas Sarkar has severely criticised the state government for allowing such poor construction work to take place in the name of development and demanded a thorough probe into the whole incident where ‘crores of public money were lost in a huff’. ‘Severe punishment should be handed over to all those responsible for the act’, he reiterated.
Similar views were also expressed by CPM leaders here. Senior party member Professor Partha Pratim Biswas of Jadavpur University apprehended that similar such accident could also happen elsewhere in the state as huge compromise with the quality of building materials were made during the construction of such public work at breakneck speed using huge public fund. He also demanded a probe into the whole mishap.