Taking no lessons from the tragic incident that claimed the life of 12-year-old Upinder, who fell into an uncovered manhole and drowned, the ignorant civic administration is hardly doing anything to prevent such tragedies in future, even after knowing that the city is dotted with many such ‘potential dangers’.
Terming the incident “serious”, mayor Bakshi Ram Arora has initiated a probe into the incident with an assurance to the residents that the erring officials will be punished, however, considering the lackadaisical approach of the Amritsar municipal corporation (MC) little is expected.
“I can’t say much till the probe is complete. However, it’s definitely a serious issue and officials, who are responsible for conditioning the manholes and sewers, have already been told to be careful in future,” said the mayor.
Amid the tall claims of the government to make Amritsar a world class city by providing the best of infrastructures, the pathetic attitude of the civic administration towards uncovered “killer” manholes, speaks volumes of their insensitivity.
Upinder was not the only one who died due to apathetic attitude of the civic body, a 27-year-old interior designer, Kanika Chugh, the front wheel of whose scooter had stuck in an uncovered manhole, also lost her life in 2012.
But things haven’t changed much since then, and uncovered and damaged manholes and open sewers at several places in the city are still posing threat to the lives of motorists and pedestrians. Even de-silting machines placed on manholes, posing a threat to the commuters’ life.
Since a lot of construction works are going on in the city, the civic authorities hardly bothered to provide safe passage to the commuters.
Poor quality roads posing threat too
Not only open sewers and manholes, but poor quality roads that cave in after a rain also pose danger to commuters’ life.
There are incidents wherein roads get caved in under pressure of vehicles on freshly laid tiles — the newly built Airport Road caved in a couple of times.
Despite residents’ repeated protests over poor infrastructure in the city little has been done.
DC asks MC to look into all such places
Meanwhile, reacting to the incident, Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat said, “I have written to the MC to make sure that no such accident prone spots are present in the city anymore to avoid mishaps.”
“Not only in the city, I am also getting checked rural areas for it as well, he added.