Patent row surfaces after Central Railway reopens new shed of Nagpur Railway station’s home platform No.8

Nagpur (NGP): new shed of Nagpur railway station’s home platform No 8 has landed in controversy soon after its completion. Satish Mowade, a civil engineer, has alleged that the shed has been constructed on his patented design without permission. Mowade has now served a legal notice to the contractor Sudhir Constructions.

Central Railways has contested Mowade’s claim saying that the design was corrected several times by its engineering division and hence the design was practically made by it. Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) O.P.Singh claimed that the concept of new type of shed had been created by railways.

Mowade has a totally different story to tell. “About four years ago, I had made this design of railway platform shed with trussless roof. I took the help of Prakash Jaiswal’s Skybridge Consortium to get a patent as I did not have the finances. We then approached Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Powai, with the design. However, the design was rejected and we were told that it was completely unfeasible.

“After that, I approached Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) but here too my design was rejected. We did not lose hope and approached the then divisional railway manager (DRM) of Central Railways, Brajesh Dixit. He showed a lot of enthusiasm for my design,” Mowade told.

About two years ago, Central Railways decided to construct a 100 metre shed on platform no 8. Unique Constructions had bagged the tender. Dixit gave it Mowade’s design and the work was done under the engineer’s supervision.

The trouble started when about eight to nine months Central Railways floated a tender for extending the shed by another 200 metre. Sudhir Constructions bagged the job this time and was given Mowade’s design by some railway official.

When the construction began, Mowade realized that his design was being used. Jaiswal and he initially tried to reason with railway officers but in vain. Later, they served a legal notice to Sudhir Constructions.

Mowade said that not only this was a case of patent violation but the contractor had violated tender conditions too. “The tender clearly states that the contractor must submit his own design and get it checked by a competent government agency. Sudhir Constructions has not submitted its own design. Secondly, it was clearly stated that proflex should be used for constructing the shed. However, the firm has used another material,” he alleged.

The engineer said the biggest issue was that of safety. “Only I know what safety measures need to be taken while constructing the shed using my design. Others don’t know these things. What if there are some faults in construction and it leads to an accident? My name would be unnecessarily tarnished. Who will take responsibility of loss of property and lives,” he asked.

MOWADE CLAIMS

The trussless shed of platform no 8 is of a new design, made by him

He has got a patent for this design

The contractor obtained a copy of the design from the railways and used it without his permission

CENTRAL RAILWAYS STAND

The design was made by Mowade but large number of corrections were suggested by railway officials

Therefore, the design practically belongs to the railways

There is nothing wrong in giving it to the contractor.

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