Hoshiarpur is in the dock for ignoring public safety and putting up effigy of Ravana less than 100 mts from a petrol pump. Further, the event is being organised in the bed of a seasonal stream, Bhangi Choe, for which a concrete stage has been illegally constructed in the choe bed, raising the heckles of the state’s Drainage Department.
The function is being organised by the Ramleela Society headed by Hoshiarpur Municipal Corporation Mayor Shiv Sood. Hoshiarpur SDM Major Amit Sareen has now issued written instructions to the Mayor that due to a nearby petrol pump, fire crackers must be avoided, adding the even permission for the sound system should be sought from the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited. The drainage department, meanwhile, has sought police protection to demolish the illegal structure in a written letter.
But despite written complaint to the Deputy Commissioner’s office by the drainage department about the illegal construction in choe bed, no action has been taken so for. The celebrations on the choe bed are dangerous as Monsoons in the state have been extended till October 10, and heavy showers can threaten the safety of those attending in event in case the streat gets flooded due to suddent heavy rainfall.
“Even during recent rains, our articles got washed away and the base of marry-go round was weakened due to accumulation of water,” said a vendor at the event.
In his letter to the DC, Executive Engineer (XEN), Hoshiarpur, Drainage Department has written only permission to install a tent was given to the committee.
“Ramleela committee has been receiving the lakhs of rupees in donations and grants by inviting political leaders as their chief guests and also they charge rent from the vendors for putting up their stalls in the fair while the land belongs to the Drainage Department,” said Hoshiarpur-based RTI activist Rajiv Vashishth.
He added that even choe had been raised from one side where Dussehra was being celebrated and thus altering its natural course for future. “The administration does not seem to learn a lesson from tragic Dussehra incident of Amritsar last year,” he said.
However, Deputy Commissioner Isha kalia said that no illegal construction would be allowed in the choe bed.
Mayor Shiv Sood dismissed concerns saying that Dussehra was being celebrated at the spot for nearly 100 years. About illegal construction by society in the choe bed, he said that they had not received any notice from anywhere.