Two die of electrocution, civic chaos across state after rain
MESS PRECEDES MONSOON 32yearold man killed in Bathinda, 12yearold boy the victim in Moga
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
FLOODING OF LOWLYING AREAS IN ALMOST ALL BIG TOWNS OF PUNJAB EXPOSES CLAIMS OF MUNICIPAL BODIES
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.
Mall Road cutting through Bathinda — heartland of Punjab’s Malwa region — looked like this after rain on Thursday. Take note, that this was only premonsoon rain. Monsoon, formally, is expected to be here on Friday. And the state doesn’t look ready.