NEW DELHI: The murder of a project engineer working for NHAI by four people, including the owner of a Gurgaon-based construction company, shocked consulting engineers and worried them to express “unbiased” views or opinions on infrastructure projects.
The victim, Rajinder Kumar Chawla, worked with Aecom, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. Many fear that the incident will have an impact on the construction industry.
This is perhaps the first case a construction company’s executive director has been arrested for killing an NHAI engineer who was overseeing his project, despite cases where construction companies threatened and abused consulting engineers and were given physical material, industry sources said .
Jaipur police arrested Karandeep Sheoran, head of E5 Infrastructure Pvt Ltd., and four other people on Friday. Sources in NHAI said that E5 is a sister company of Gawar Construction Ltd, which has become a major player in recent years.
“The government has to crack down on the killers and others responsible. Independent advisors are representatives of the government and protect the public interest. They must be protected by the government so that they can continue to do their jobs independently and in the public interest, ”said Raj Kumar, CMD of Rodic Consultants.
KK Kapila, chairman of the Consulting Engineers Association of India’s business practices committee, said the contract and consulting industries are two pillars. “This incident is shocking. We hope the investigation will be completed in a timely manner and this is unacceptable for any industry, ”he added.
Chawla, started his career as an engineer at Haryanas PWD and also worked as a deputy in NHAI and NHIDCL for more than five years. After his retirement he joined the consulting company. “He was an upright engineer. The consulting engineers are obliged to work in a biased and fearless manner. He has been involved in several projects, including one of the toughest flyover and shamrock projects on the Badarpur border in Delhi, ”said one of Chawla’s colleagues.
The Gurgaon-based engineer leaves behind his wife and two children who settle abroad. The consulting company (Aecom) is expected to withdraw from the project.
E5 Infrastructure was founded in 2015. According to the company’s website, the company is carrying out 13 projects, including the emergency landing facility on the NH Srinagar-Banihal route and additional structures on the NH Delhi-Agra route. His clients include NHAI, the Department of Transportation, NHIDCL, Indian Railways and the Airport Authority of India.