Two die of elec­tro­cu­tion, civic chaos across state af­ter rain

MESS PRECEDES MON­SOON 32­year­old man killed in Bathinda, 12­year­old boy the vic­tim in Moga

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - PUNJAB - HT Correspondents let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com n With in­puts from Ja­land­har

A 32-year-old man was elec­tro­cuted to death in Bathinda and a 12-year-old boy in Moga af­ter heavy rain flooded many ar­eas of the towns in the pre-mon­soon down­pour on Thurs­day. Mon­soon is likely to hit the re­gion on Fri­day.

In Bathinda, vic­tim Kuldeep Singh was walk­ing down an in­un­dated road in Sirki Bazar when he came in con­tact with a wire.

The boy in Moga, Akash, was elec­tro­cuted af­ter a short-cir­cuit oc­curred in an elec­tric poll while he was rev­el­ling in the show­ers on street near his house in Bazi­gar Basti. His mother, Veena Rani, said Akash hap­pened to come in con­tact with the pole: “Hear­ing his screams, we rushed to him but he had al­ready suc­cumbed to the high-volt­age shock.”

Flood­ing of low-ly­ing ar­eas in al­most all big towns of Pun­jab ex­posed the claims of the mu­nic­i­pal bod­ies. Bathinda mayor Bal­want Rai Nath said mo­tor pumps were de­ployed to drain out the wa­ter. “The sit­u­a­tion will be nor­mal by Fri­day morn­ing,” he said.

The MC had chalked out a plan to avoid flood­ing dur­ing the rains and asked the com­pany man­ag­ing the sew­er­age to en­sure de-silt­ing of drains and ponds.

Nath said the sewage lines were cleaned but the de-silt­ing of ponds “couldn’t be car­ried out as the state gov­ern­ment did not grant per­mis­sion for it”. How­ever, he said, this wouldn’t ag­gra­vate the prob­lem.

In Ja­land­har, flood­ing was se­vere as barely 8% of the area is cov­ered un­der the stormwa­ter drainage sys­tem. Yet, MC of­fi­cials ex­pressed con­fi­dence in tack­ling the mon­soon.

Su­per­in­tend­ing en­gi­neer (op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance) Lakhwinder Singh said, “The sew­er­age lines have been cleared and there is no prob­lem of drainage. Only the main lines cov­er­ing 50 km re­main to be cleaned with the su­per suc­tion ma­chine.”

“Other cities like Am­rit­sar are flooded af­ter rain.We are still bet­ter than oth­ers,” he added.

Un­der the Atal Mis­sion for Re­ju­ve­na­tion and Ur­ban Trans­for­ma­tion (AMRUT), Rs 200 crore have sanc­tioned to the Ja­land­har MC for a stormwa­ter sys­tem.

“Though we have floated the ten­ders, due to the goods and ser­vices tax (GST) com­ing into force, no firm has come for­ward,” he said.

Heavy rain af­fected life in SBS Na­gar (Nawan­shahr) and in Hoshiarpur, where the sit­u­a­tion was messier on roads where garbage dumps are lo­cated.

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