An inspection team of the municipal corporation claimed that over 100 workers from dyeing units attacked them while they were checking an alleged illegal sewer connection on Bahadur Ke Road on Tuesday. Police was informed after the violence went out of hand, in which MC officials sustained injuries.
These dyeing units are allegedly using an illegal sewer connection from a residential area nearby. The factories lie outside MC limits. The civic body took action after HT highlighted the problem of overflowing of sewerage in residential colonies of Bahadur Ke Road.
An MC team including junior engineer Rajneesh Kumar, two sewer men Amar and Pappu and JCB operator Vikram went to the area to check the status of sewer line after councillor from ward 1 Randhir Singh Sivia refuted the MC’s claims that the illegal connection had been disconnected two days back. Sivia said the MC’s action was a mere eyewash.
Sivia claimed that when the sewer men opened a manhole on Tuesday, they found that water from the dyeing factories was still being released into the main sewer lane of the MC. “I had requested the civic body to disconnect the line in the evening. After that I went to Haibowal for some other work. Later, I learned that a mob had attacked the MC team.”
A sewer man, Amar, said more than 100 workers from the factories attacked them. “When some people started beating us, I ran away fearing for my life. Some of them also beat up the junior engineer and attacked the JCB man,” he claimed.
An MC employee, on the conditions of anonymity, said, “I spotted blue-coloured water in the MC’s sewer lane. It is suspected that it is being released by the dyeing units,” he claimed. He said a security guard and a bike belonging to one of the attackers were taken to the police station.
MC executive engineer Pardeep Saluja claimed that the illegal line was disconnected two days ago. He also refuted Sivia’s claims that the illegal connection was still there. “The team was merely sent to show the disconnected illegal sewer line to the area councillor for his satisfaction,” he said.
Claims of attack by workers refuted
After the alleged attack on the MC team, factory workers staged a protest against the digging of a road by the MC. Tarun Bawa, president of Bahadur Ke Road Textiles and Knitwear Association, denied that factory workers had attacked the MC team, and said he only saw that the team was being attacked by some people when he was passing by. He further claimed that they were residents. He said factory workers were staging a protest against digging of a road. Sources said Bawa was raising slogans against councillor Sivia during the protest. Later, police and a large number of MC employees and officials reached Bahadur K Road.
No relief from overflowing sewage
Due to alleged illegal sewer connections, the overflowing sewage has led to unsanitary conditions in Bharti Colony, Saryansh Nagar, Golden Vihar, Deep Vihar, Harvinder Nagar and nearby areas.
“The MC had installed the sewer system in residential areas around one and a half years ago. Due to illegal connections given to factories outside the MC limits, sewage has been overflowing into residential areas,” Sivia claimed.
Sources said the Vidhan Sabha Committee had also recommended for that illegal sewer lines be disconnected.
An FIR was registered at Salem Tabri police station, said Jasdev Singh Sekhon, president of municipal ministerial employees union, Ludhiana. He said MC employees will conduct a gate rally on Tuesday to mark their protest against the attack on the team.