In a major embarrassment to the district administration, a wall of the railway under bridge (RUB), which was inaugurated by Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal nine months back, collapsed during the first heavy rain of the season on Saturday.
The incident has also raised a doubt whether there was any corruption in the construction of the bridge.
Bathinda witnessed heavy showers on Saturday and a part of RUB's wall suddenly collapsed as traffic was crossing it. Traffic was jammed and the collapse left slush on the spot, leaving several vehicles stranded on both sides of the bridge.
Additional deputy commissioner (development) Mohammad Tayyab along with other officials reached the spot. JCB machines were pressed in service to remove the debris but it did not help much and soon the district administration announced closure of the bridge till further orders. It will badly affect traffic movement on the road, which is used to supply oil to the many parts of Punjab.
After reviewing the situation, the ADC(D) constituted a committee headed by SDM Damanjit Singh along with XEN, Mandi Board, and PWD officials to inquire the matter.
The ADC(D) told the media that an inquiry has been initiated and whosoever -- construction company or PWD (B&R) department -- is found responsible will face strict action.
He added that the RUB has been closed as a portion of the wall has collapsed and the condition of the entire bridge is not so good. "As a precautionary measure we have closed the road to avoid any untoward incident and diverted the traffic through villages.
The wall collapse in the first rain of the season has also put the working of contractor concerned under scanner. Some questions -- such as why walls were not able to withstand the first heavy rain and weather it was due to poor material or some fault in design of the building -- are being raised.
Meanwhile, heavy rain caused chaos in the city for the second day on Saturday. Though no untoward incident was reported from the city, there were reports of collapsing of walls, sinking of roads, waterlogged streets, both in commercials and residential areas, which caused a lot of problem to people.
The Met department on Saturday recorded 63.2 mm rainfall in the city. This month the city has recorded 190 mm rain so far. This is the highest rainfall recorded in the area in June since 2008.
Residents of areas such as Power House Road, Amrik Singh Road, Parasram Nagar, Balla Ram Nagar, Kamla Nehru Colony, Prajapat Colony, Green Avenue, Nai Basti, Kothe Amarpura, Sirki Bazar, Dhobi Bazar, Ganesha Basti and other low-lying areas had a harrowing time as water entered their houses due to the clogged drains.
Six injured in wall collapse
Six people were injured when a wall of an under-construction house collapsed. The victims were working as labourers in the under-construction house.