Deep Nagar cave-in creates 10-ft crater

SUV gets stuck in pit, MC officials blame wire-digging work
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Updated on Oct 06, 2019 10:47 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | ByHarsimran Singh Batra, Ludhiana

A Fortuner SUV got stuck as a major portion of the road gave way in Deep Nagar near the Dandi Swami Chowk here on Sunday morning.

The cave-in created a 10 feet deep and 10 feet wide pit right outside a house, reportedly owned by mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu. The house has been lying vacant since the mayor shifted to Rishi Nagar.

Municipal corporation (MC) officials said the road caved in because of leakage in sewer lines caused due to laying of underground wires buy a telecom company. The soil below the road had eroded due to the leakage.

The locals said the Fortuner was moving over the damaged area when the road gave way and the car got stuck in the pit, and was later pulled out with the help of earth movers. No casualty was reported from the spot.

Mayor inspects spot

The mayor inspected the spot and directed the officials concerned to repair the road as soon as possible.

Area councillor Indu Thapar said the road caved-in due to leakage in sewer pipes, which might have got damaged due to laying of underground wires. “An MC team had reached the spot and will repair the road by evening,” said Thapar.

Sub divisional officer (SDO) Anshul Garcha said, “The company might have damaged the sewer lines while laying
underground wires. The MC team has repaired the damaged portion.” 

High drama over ‘live-streaming’

A high drama was witnessed at the spot as councillor Indu Thapar’s husband, Raju Thapar, her two sons and a few others allegedly thrashed a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker Gaurav Kalia who was live streaming the cave-in on Facebook.

While Thapar claimed that Kalia started the fight over old enmity, the latter alleged that he was thrashed by the councillor’s husband while he was live streaming the incident and was about to talk to mediapersons.

A video of the incident also went viral on social media wherein a person is seen beating Kalia with a spade.

Thapar said his driver had sustained injuries and gave a complaint against Kalia at the Kailash Nagar police post. Kalia was in the civil hospital for getting his medical examination done till the time this report was filed.

Division Number 8 SHO Gurdeep Singh said they were investigating the matter, and will record statements of the parties before registering a case.

4th such incident in 5 weeks says it all

While the civic body and the Ludhiana Smart City Limited (LSCL) are working to develop smart roads under the smart city mission, road cave-ins continue to haunt in the city.

The cave-in at Deep Nagar is the fourth such major incident which has exposed how unsafe city roads are.

While the civic body has blamed laying of underground wires for most of the road cave-in incidents, no corrective steps are being taken to avoid such incidents.

The streak of cave-ins began at college road near the Fountain Chowk in the first week of August. Another cave-in occurred at Ghumar Mandi Chowk on August 31. The next was reported just a week
after when a road caved in near Ishmeet Singh Chowk on
September 8.

On September 21, a major portion of the Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway had caved in due to which the road was blocked for three days. No casualty was reported in any of the incidents.

Earlier, Congress MLA Sanjay Talwar had also slammed the civic body for its failure in keeping a proper check on laying of underground wires. Talwar said no maps of underground sewer and water lines are provided by the civic body to the private companies laying underground wires.

Despite repeated attempts, MC additional commissioner Sanyam Aggarwal and superintending engineer of bridges and roads department HS Bhullar were not available for comments.

Councillors should keep tabs: Mayor

Mayor Balkar Sandhu said following councillors’ objection in the past, the MC House had banned digging of roads for laying underground wires. “It is the responsibility of councillor and MC officials concerned to keep a check on the practice. Strict directions will be issued to officials to not allow such digging projects in the city,” he said.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021