With a road along the Sidhwan Canal being no one’s baby, it continues to remain neglected. As a result, safety railings, though essential for safety of commuters, are broken or missing at several spots on the narrow road, which is also continually breaking down.
Recently, two youths were killed after their car plunged into the canal late at night near South City.
The road that leads from South City to canal bridge of Jhammat village was constructed by some colonisers a few years without permission from the canal department under whose purview the area falls.
Therefore, canal department has turned a blind eye to it. However, the road, which runs along the other side of the canal, was constructed by the PWD and is in good condition.
The state of affairs can be gauged from the absence of street lights and warning signs, and potholes and cave-ins that have occurred on various spots of the road that is used by hundreds of commuters daily.
Sources said the road was constructed on the insistence of some politicians. Therefore, neither the PWD nor the canal department had taken any action against its construction.
Narinder Singh, a commuter, said, “We don’t travel on this road as it is dangerous. The authorities concerned need to take some action. If the government cannot repair the road or maintain it, then it should close it to vehicles.”
A property dealer, requesting anonymity, claimed, “Whenever the canal goes dry, it commonly reveals bodies. Though the road was constructed by some colonisers, the authorities concerned should consider safety of commuters and install railings.”
Major Sher Singh Aulakh, president of the Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha, an NGO, said if the road was not constructed by any authority, then why haven’t any warning signs been installed? “Are the authorities totally indifferent to safety of citizens? There is no check on the speed of the vehicles, as a result rash driving continues and often causes mishaps,” he added.
Passing the buck, PWD executive engineer (XEN) Kulwant Singh said, “This road from South City to Jhammat Bridge was not constructed by the PWD. The road was built by some people in an area that falls under the canal department.”
When contacted, Rajiv Goyal, XEN, canal department, said, “We never gave approval for construction of this road. I would look into the matter and take required steps. We will install sign boards for no entry.”
Earlier in February, HT had highlighted that mishaps were common on the stretch from Ferozepur Road to Canal Bridge of South City in absence of railings, following which the PWD installed safety railings up to South City on the road recently.