Two people lost their lives and more than 12 trains were delayed as pre-monsoon rains that lasted for nearly nine hours brought the city to a standstill on Thursday. The rains also exposed the Ludhiana Municipal Corporations claims of having prepared for the deluge. They began at 5 am in the morning and only let up at 2.30 pm.
Many parts of the city were waterlogged while there was no power throughout the day in many parts of the city. The showers seem to have also caught the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited unawares as there was no power during the day; the two fatalities were also due to electrocution.
Road cave-in at Kitchlu Nagar
A road cave in at Kitchlu Nagar,one of the citys poshest areas,left a crater measuring 80 feet in length and 20 feet in width; it was almost 10 feet deep. Dr G S Dhami,an eye-specialist in front of whose hospital the road caved in,informed police,who then barricaded the area and diverted traffic. In the beginning it was very small but as the rain got heavier,it started to widen and water started overflowing, Dr Dhami told Ludhiana Newsline. When contacted,Manjit Singh,SE,O&M cell,MC,said: The wall of the manhole of the sewerage collapsed and broke off due to immense water pressure. It will take around a week to repair. Till then we have put sand bags to control water flow. Meanwhile,vehicles drowned while people faced innumerable problems like sewerage overflow and water entering homes in various areas like New Deep Nagar,Gill Chowk,Transport Nagar,Vishwakarma Chowk,Feroze Gandhi Market,New Janata Nagar,Model Town extension,Middha Chowk,Jamalpur,Old City (Chaura Bazaar,Gur Mandi,Books market),Gandhi Nagar,Pakhowal road and others.
Two die due to electrocution
Two youth of three riding a motorcycle died due to electrocution in heavy rains on Thursday while one is hospitalised in serious condition. The incident happened in street number 28 of Kot Mangal Singh Area which is also the ward (72) of Mayor. As per eye witnesses,the three friends enjoying rain entered street and came in contact with a street light from which high voltage current was coming out and street was completely waterlogged. The residents also raised slogans against MC and PSPCL and demanded an FIR against officials. People also vented their anger at PSPCL officials who came to check the light after the incident. The victims have been identified as Dhani Ram (18) and Anurag (21) of New Angad Dev Nagar,while the youth who survived is Sunny (20) of the same locality. While two died on spot,the third one was taken to Grewal Hospital. The Daba police registered case against PSPCL and MC officials of causing death due to negligence,confirmed SHO Ashwani Kumar.
AS rains lashed the city,among the first casualties was power supply. PSPCL chief engineer for the district K L Sharma too admitted that there were widespread problems in power supply. The areas which witnessed power cuts for as long as 10 hours include Aggar Nagar,Sarabha Nagar,Aman Park,Haibowal,Madhopuri,Sham Nagar,Chandigarh road,Dugri,Jamalpur,Shimlapuri,Rajguru Nagar,Neem Chowk,Jalandhar bypass,Jodhewal Basti,Jassian road,Barewal,Model Gram and others. Power was out in almost all the areas as the rain was one of the heaviest in the season. Moisture always leads to problems and cracks in the wires led to power failures. We are rectifying the problems and by 5 pm power in all areas will be restored, Sharma said but there was no power in most areas even after 5 pm.
BEAR THE BRUNT
More than 12 trains were reportedly delayed due to rain and passengers were stranded at the railway station. The trains which were running late include: Dadar Express (three and half hours),Jansewa Express ( 2 hours),Shan-E-Punjab (1 hour),Jan Sadharan Express (15 hours),Jammu Tawi (17 hours late) and Jaipur Amritsar Express (1 hour). Six other trains too were late from 15 minutes to 1 hour. Ravinder Sharma,station superintendent,said: Situation has turned better after rain stopped. Slowly the traffic will be cleared.
mc STARING AT
WITH the pre-monsoon rains catching the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation off guard,the monsoons will be the real test for the civic agency. Is it prepared for the worst? When contacted,Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said: I had written to the Commissioner about two months back and had asked him to take flood control measures and get the storm sewerage cleaned in the city. Now when the work has not been done,responsibility lies with them. MC Commissioner R K Verma,however,was not available for comments. Parminder Mehta,spokesperson,Congress,whose home in Talaab Bazaar was waterlogged,said: We are going to file writ petition in High Court against SAD-BJP for widespread loss of people caused today with their homes,factories and shops filled with water.