TWO DAYS after 21-year-old Vikas died in a pothole accident at Mauli Jagran, both the Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation said “it is not their pothole”.
Though Vikas’s friend Roshan, who was riding pillion, said, accident was caused by a crater near the underpass at Mauli Jagran, no steps were taken to fill it up, nor was the site visited by anyone.
Only a DDR has been lodged at the local police station as of now. The victim’s uncle Kundan said they are now planning to move court against the authorities and want an FIR lodged against the civic body.
Vikas was going to Vikasnagar from Ramdarbar on his scooter with Roshan Saturday night when the incident took place. Both of them were wearing helmets. “Roshan told us that since there was no light in the area, they didn’t see the pothole and rode into it. They fell and Vikas’s head hit the road. He was wearing a helmet and even that broke,” said Kundan, Vikas’s uncle. He further said, “We are raising this issue so that more lives are not lost.”
Municipal Corporation Chief Engineer Manoj Bansal said, “This road isn’t ours. It is the UT Administration’s road and we have conveyed it to them.”
UT Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand told Chandigarh Newsline, “We sent an official this morning and he confirmed that it is not the administration’s road. That is the MC’s road. There is no pothole in the administration’s roads there.”
A dark Diwali
Prem Chand and Laxmi Devi have lost their only son just six days before Diwali.
“Several people in the area have fallen victim to this pothole. Have poor people been left to die?” asked Vikas’s uncle.
Chairman of Federation of Sectors Welfare Association Chandigarh Baljinder Singh Bittu said, “An FIR should be lodged against the official concerned for negligence. How can they shed their responsibility? They should know that their own family members can also fall victim to potholes. Officials travel in their swanky cars and the area where their offices are do not have a single pothole. But the common man has been left to his fate.”
Adviser orders repair
When UT Adviser Manoj Parida was informed, he said, “Does not matter who owns the road. We will get it repaired within two days.”
City Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra claimed that mud was being used to fill the pothole in the evening. “I will request officers to travel on Mauli Jagran roads and see for themselves,” he added. The UT Administration had recently said, it will repair civic body roads too, and had also given them Rs 15 crore funds to repair stretches. However, work hasn’t started yet.
Estimates of 40 roads which will see recarpeting were given by the administration to the MC.
MC Commissioner K K Yadav said he has got the list of roads and will get it verified soon. “I will get them verified and surveyed on the spot, so those in completely bad in shape are recarpeted first,”