The 2.5-kilometre narrowed stretch of the link road running along a drain between Sirsari and Deviwala village in this district claimed a life on Monday night when a tractor fell into the water.
The victim, Kulwinder Singh, 40, was from Sirsari village. The drain is 10-foot deep. Kulwinder Singh was driving home from the second-hand tractor market at Kotkapura when the accident occurred around 9pm. He was killed on the spot.
Kulwinder Singh has left behind his wife and two daughters. After announcement over the gurdwara public address system, villagers searched for him, but failed to find him in time.
The road stretch is problematic for the villagers of Deviwala, Sirsar, Nathewala, Kotsukhia, Bhaloor, and Nathuwala. The Kotkapura-Mudki road connects many villages, but between Deviwala and Sirsari, the drain is too close to the narrowed road.
Because of the proximity of the drain, the road can't be widened. The soil on the edge of it continues to erode because of water cutting into it. "This is not the first vehicle to fall into this drain," said Mohar Singh Gill, a villager from Sirsari. "Last year, a truck, a tractor, and a tempo fell into it. Thankfully, no life was lost then."
"The drain is planned wrongly," said Baljeet Singh, sarpanch of Sirsari. "Its pavement should be to the roadside to let vehicles have some free space. But the pavement is to the left. Villagers have made many requests for its shifting."
Deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat ordered the executive engineer of the drainage department to look for a solution.