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7 died on this border village bridge in 2016, no railing still 

Amritsar, November 11

It has been over two years since a school bus fell into a drain from a dilapidated bridge without any railing at Muhawa border village killing seven children, but the government is yet to repair the bridge and instal railing.

Residents said a majority of bridges in the district were in a dilapidated condition and repeated assurances by political leaders ended up as mere announcements.

“Consecutive governments ignored border areas. We told politicians about our plight a number of times, but to no avail. In February, Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu announced Rs 10 lakh for the repair of the bridge where the bus mishap had occurred. However, it also ended up as mere assurance as the bridge still awaits repair,” said Gurdev Singh, Nambardar of Muhawa village. 

Gurnam Singh, a resident of Daoke border village, said: “Politicians only show their face during elections. After coming to power they forget about the problems being faced by people. The previous SAD-BJP government had announced over Rs 100 crore for the development of border areas, but there seems to be no development work in border belts at all.”

Taking an initiative, the residents of Neshta village repaired the bridge in their village on their own.

Manjinder Singh of Neshta village told The Tribune that the village witnessed many mishaps in the past.

“Sometimes people lost their cattle and some persons suffered injuries while returning to their houses late in the evenings, especially during foggy winters. It took us nearly Rs 1 lakh to repair the bridge,” he said.

Congress MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla recently inspected dilapidated bridges at Daoke and Bharopal border villages and said the government had been informed about the condition of the bridges.

Deputy Commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha said the government had approved the repair and upgrade of bridges — a majority of which fall in Attari, Ajnala and Chogawan belt of the district.

“These bridges will be widened and upgraded in two phases. In the first phase, there will be 26 bridges for which the government has set aside nearly Rs 8 crore. The estimates for the same have been submitted to the technical adviser to the CM. The tendering process will be completed by December 15. Similarly, 43 bridges will be covered in the second phase for which estimates to the tune of over Rs 13 crore have been sent to the CMO. The tendering for the same will be held till December-end,” the Deputy Commissioner said.

On September 20, 2016, a school bus carrying 30-40 children of a school fell in the drain while crossing a bridge in Muhawa village. The railing on the bridge was so weak that it could not resist the uncontrolled school bus from falling in the drain resulting in a loss of seven innocent lives.

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