Structures on drains lead to deluge in Pathankot

Structures on drains lead to deluge in Pathankot

Pathankot, August 1

A majority of the city’s 2.71 lakh residents are questioning the efficacy of the Municipal Corporation (MC) in clearing encroachments that have come up over rainwater drains in the past few years.

Scores of businesses met a watery grave yesterday. A fear psychosis has gripped locals who fear another such deluge could be catastrophic for trade and commerce in the town.

Hundreds were trapped in yesterday’s torrential downpour, which led to one of the worst floods Pathankot has seen in the last three decades.

Whenever flooding occurs, drains act as an outlet for water. However, rather ironically, yesterday these very drains acted as an impediment in water being flushed out. Experts claim this is because haphazard construction has been taking place on these water channels. A vast majority of the encroachments are politically driven.

The strange political configuration is not helping the MC function smoothly. Mayor Panna Lal Bhatia belongs to the Congress, MLA Ashwani Sharma is a BJP man while AAP has appointed Vibhuti Sharma as the halqa in-charge. The three are rarely on the same page.

Former Mayor Anil Vasudeva has demanded a probe into yesterday’s fiasco. “An inquiry will separate the chalk from the cheese. After all, there has to be some accountability,” he said.

“As is being alleged by my rivals, the drainage system is not to be blamed. The water receded at a fast rate, which means the drains were not at all clogged,” the Mayor maintained.

The Civil Hospital remained under 2-4 feet of water rendering the entire structure redundant for eight hours.

Locals claim a ‘nullah’ used to run from Shahpur chowk side to the hospital. Just before the Assembly poll, its height was raised just to help some politically influential people build shops over it.

Structures on drains lead to deluge in Pathankot