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The main reason for the collapse of the brick wall fencing was because of heavy earth filing of 2.00 M height which was done behind the fencing by the school authority of Jowai Public School in the month of August 2018, clarified the PWD (Buildings) Chief Engineer. 

Jowai, Oct 15, 2018: 

A day after the retaining wall of Jowai Public School collapsed damaging three vehicles in West Jaintia Hills, the district administration on Monday concluded that the incident took place because of heavy earth filing which was done behind the fencing by the school authority  two months back without consulting the PWD (B) technical personnel.

“The question on the use of sub standard materials does not arise as the foundation of the wall done few years back was not meant for earth filing and since the school authority of Jowai Public School has admitted to carrying out the filing without consulting the experts, the question of initiating an enquiry also does not arise,” WJH DC Garod L.S.N. Dykes said on Monday.

It may be mentioned that the retaining wall of Jowai Public School collapsed on the wee hours of Sunday at around 2.30 am damaging at least three vehicles.

Dykes informed that the School Principal had also met him, admitting the school authority’s mistake stating that he was unaware of the technical formation. “We conclude that the reason was because of the rain and earth filing. Had the school authority consulted the experts, the incident could have been averted,” he added.

ALSO READ | Meghalaya: Jowai Public School’s retaining wall collapses damaging 3 vehicles

The DC also informed that he had received a report on the same from the PWD (Buildings) whereby it stated that the main reason for the collapse of the brick wall fencing was because of heavy earth filing of 2.00 M height which was done behind the fencing by the school authority in the month of August 2018.

According to a clarification issued by the Chief engineer of PWD (B) F Marbaniang, the school authority through its school development fund has done some leveling work behind the school building and the filing work behind the brick wall fencing without informing nor consulting the PWD (B) before executing the work.

“Only on the 11 of October last week when the executive engineer PWD (B) Jowai division had visited the school for the finalisation of the layout of the new project -i.e., “Construction of Examination Hall, etc”, the principal had informed the EE that the work has already been executed by the school authority,” Marbaniang said.

ALSO READ | Meghalaya: Jowai Public School’s retaining wall collapses damaging 3 vehicles

He also stated that the Junior Engineer under the PWD(B) had time and again, advised and requested the principal and the school authority not to do any earth filing behind the brick wall fencing, as it is technically not safe as this will weaken the wall and perhaps may even cause the wall to collapse at anytime. “However, the school authority did not pay heed to the advice and went ahead with the work,” he said.

Getting into the technicalities, the chief engineer said that the length of the collapsed brick wall fencing is about 31.00 M and the wall was constructed perhaps during 2002-2003 with a height of 1.25 M and it was only last year in the month of September, the height of the wall was raised by another 0.75 M plus 0.30 M grill and this was also done at the request of the principal of the school.

Meanwhile, the Marbaniang has also termed reports published by local newspapers today, which stated the wall collapsed because of the use of sub-standard materials and also due to the negligence of the PWD (B), as “wrong” and “baseless” information.

“The report given was done on unsubstantiated information without consulting the concerned district administration and PWD (B),” he said.

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