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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Flyover wall collapse: Spaces beneath bridges stay prone to rats as garbage not removed

The report of inquiry into the retaining wall collapse in May last year clearly stated garbage dumps below bridges should be removed to protect them from damage by rats

chandigarh Updated: Sep 18, 2019 23:41 IST
Harsimran Singh Batra
Harsimran Singh Batra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
A heap of garbage under the flyover near the bus stand in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
A heap of garbage under the flyover near the bus stand in Ludhiana on Wednesday.(HT PHOTO)
         

  It’s been almost a year-and-a-half when a retaining wall of the Gill road flyover collapsed after rats damaged the reinforcing geogrids. But, the civic body has failed to learn any lessons and is again turning a blind eye towards garbage heaps under the bridge.  

The report, submitted by the inquiry committee after the retaining wall collapsed in May last year, clearly stated that garbage dumps below the bridges should be removed as garbage gives rise to rats, which damage the foundations of bridges.  

But, the authorities have failed to go by the suggestions of the inquiry committee, headed by then additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Shena Aggarwal. MC executive engineer Rahul Gagneja, executive engineer (PWD) Rakesh Garg and GLADA executive engineer Ranbir Singh were also members of the committee.  

While, garbage has again started piling up under the flyover, no steps have been taken to shift the secondary garbage dump, situated near the bus stand either.  

An MC official, requesting anonymity, said no official was paying heed to the problem and the inquiry report was also gathering dust. The MC had earlier shifted the secondary dump site after the retaining wall collapsed, but, there was no check on the garbage collectors, who collect garbage from houses and dump the same below the flyover.  

MC commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar said the civic body was working to install static compactors under the Smart City Mission in the city. Once those compactors would be made operational, garbage would not be dumped in the open. Presently, the MC was also facing problems in shifting dumps from one site to another due to public protests, as they did not want dumps near their houses, added Brar.  

No Steps taken to deal with rat menace 

Tall claims were made to deal with the rat menace after the retaining wall of the flyover collapsed. The officials had claimed that they would tie up with Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to find a solution to the rat menace. But, nothing has been done in this direction so far.

Public anger major hurdle 

An official said the MC was trying to shift the dump, situated below the bus stand flyover, to one corner of the Chhatar Singh Park, but residents had objected to the same. A few residents had even filed a petition in a court against the same. The MC is facing similar problems at other parts of the city also.  

Shopkeepers cry foul 

President of the Scooter Market Association Satinderpal Singh said, “An open garbage dump near the market creates a lot of nuisance. The road between the Chhatar Singh Park and the dump also gets blocked as garbage is also spread on roads by ragpickers. they demanded the dump should be shifted as shopkeepers and visitors were living under the threat of an epidemic.

First Published: Sep 18, 2019 23:28 IST

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