LAST WEEK a 28-year-old farmer of Baroli village in Dera Bassi died after he drowned in the water filled due to incessant rain under a railway bridge at Janetpur village. Residents of Baroli and Janetpur say this was not the first time when such an incident happened. In the past several people were stuck in the water but they had a miraculous escape. Despite their repeated complaints, the administration has not done much to address this problem.
Jatinder Singh, a resident of Baroli village, on Thursday night died after his tractor-trolley got stuck inside the water leading to his death. The death triggered massive protests in the area, forcing police to register a case.
With less than a week left for the Assembly elections, this time waterlogging under railway bridge is the main issue for many residents of nearby villages, including Baroli and Janetpur.
“We have complained several times to the administration and to our MLA as well. But they never paid any heed to our problem. Few days are left for the elections. This railway bridge is the main issue for people here,” says Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Janetpur village.
This underbridge of the Northern Railway was constructed a few years ago. Locals say the underbridge connects several villages and during rain, more than 7 fts of rainwater gets filled, making it difficult for people to pass through the area.
“People fear to use this railway bridge because it is always filled with water. It’s complete dark during the night and those who have to go out of the village in the evening, they don’t use this route and instead use another route which is 20 kilometres away,” says a woman resident of Janetpur, who didn’t wish to be identified.
She adds, “Two years have passed and this entire village is waiting for getting this problem resolved. I will not vote for the party which has not paid attention to this problem.”
Close to Janetpur village is Baroli village. Here the family of Jatinder Singh, who drowned in the rainwater, says they are awaiting justice and resolution of this problem.
“We want justice. My son was young and he was the main earning hand of the family. We want this problem to end soon, so that no other family faces such a situation which we are facing now,” says Ajmer Singh, grandfather of the victim.
No political party has visited the victim’s family since the incident. It was only on Monday afternoon that Dera Bassi MLA N K Sharma visited the family of the victim. But it didn’t impress the villagers much.
“When we blocked roads, no politician came to support us. After so many days, political parties have started visiting them because elections are coming,” says a resident of Baroli village.
“It doesn’t matter whether any party visits the family or not. But this (railway bridge) is the real problem for the people and during this election, the entire village will keep this issue in mind while casting votes,” says Paramjeet Singh, a resident of Baroli village.