As we, with our own respective gangs, get into the party mode, checking out how different clubs are set to celebrate the New Year bash, let’s stop for a while to look back on the tragedies which shook the region in 2014.
Beas tragedy: On a trip to Himachal Pradesh, 24 students from Hyderabad based VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology were washed away after a hydropower plant reportedly discharged water into the river, without the customary warning. Taking action, the Himachal Pradesh government suspended three officials. A case related to the tragedy is pending in the Himachal Pradesh court.
Bilaspur bus accident: On September 24, at least 25 people were killed and 21 others were injured after a private bus they were travelling in fell into the Gobind Sagar reservoir. Apart from this, as many as 24 people lost their lives at Ruturang near Sangla in Kinnaur district on August 21. According to the police records, till November this year, around 2,788 road accidents were witnessed in Himachal in which 1,104 people were killed.
Jammu and Kashmir floods: Jammu and Kashmir was hit by massive floods that rendered around 2600 villages inundated, and another 1225 partially affected. Declaring the floods as national calamity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs 745 crore in addition to Rs 1,100 crore already earmarked for the disaster.
Ludhiana child deaths: Another tragedy that made national headlines was the death of five newborns at a newly inaugurated Mother and Child Hospital attached with Lord Mahavir Hospital in Ludhiana on November 23. Five families lost their newly born babies due to negligence of doctors and staff.
On this fateful day, out of 5 newborn, two newborns died immediately while three stillborns were delivered. Acting swiftly, Punjab government suspended Dr Alka Mittal, gynaecologist and duty officer on that day. Pediatrician Dr Yogesh Khanna and Kanta Devi a class IV employee were transferred. Investigations are still on in the case.
Ghumman eye camp: Ghumman village just 25 kms away from Batala have a tale of horror to tell. On December 6, a Mathura based NGO SKL Netra Chakitsalya held a free eye check-up camp in Ghumman village. Around 60 cataract operations were performed on the same day which left around 16 people blind. The camp was held at Guru Nanak Multi Specialty Hospital, without any permission from the local authorities.
Manjit Joshi, a coordinator for the camp, is in judicial custody and is prime accused in the case according to the police officials. Dr Vivek Arora, who performed the surgeries, is currently out on bail. Police claims the case is under investigation. Interestingly authorities took no action against the hospital where these surgeries were conducted.