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Flood-hit protesters lathi-charged
Rahul Das
Tribune News Service

Ambala, August 6
Irate residents of flood-affected colonies on the outskirts of Ambala City blocked the GT Road and the police had to resort to a mild lathicharge to clear the road this morning.

The Indo-Pak bus to Lahore was also caught in the jam and it was escorted out under heavy security.

Residents of Devi Nagar, Kamal Vihar, Hira Nagar, Naresh Vihar and the adjoining areas blocked the GT Road near the Punjab-Haryana border at about 9.15 am. The residents were armed with lathis and used tree trunks to block the traffic.

They claimed that they had not receiving any relief and no official had visited the flood-affected colonies.

Following the road block, there was a long line of vehicles on both sides of the road. The police put up bollards near the jail flyover so that the traffic could be diverted towards Chandigarh.

Officials rushed to the spot to clear the jam and a posse of policemen kept vigil. The SDM assured the residents that relief material would reach their colonies within a short span of time. However, the residents did not relent.

When an attempt was made to clear the blockade, a group of people began to pelt stones on vehicles. Windshields and windowpanes of about a dozen vehicles were damaged. Police constable and a few passengers sustained injuries.

Seeing the deteriorating situation, the police resorted to a mild lathicharge and the jam was cleared after nearly two hours.

Later, the SDM, Mr Jagdeep, and the DSP, Mr Anil Dhawan, went along with the residents to their colonies. They told the residents that the their grievances would be redressed.

Meanwhile, work was going on a war-footing to repair the damaged rail sections on the Ambala-Amritsar and Ambala-Chandigarh rail line.

Nearly 1000 labourers are working to meet the deadline for completion of the repair task. While the Ambala-Chandigarh rail line is expected to be repaired by August 7 evening or August 8 morning, the Ambala-Amritsar main line is likely to be repaired by August 14.

The Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Divisions Mr Keshav Chandra said: “We will meet the deadline of August 7 for the Ambala-Chandigarh line and August 14 for the Ambala-Amritsar line.”

He said under normal condition, the quantum of repair work would have required three weeks to complete. “However, we are going to complete the same task in 10 days. We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that rail traffic is restored at the earliest. Experienced engineers are on the job and they will finish the assigned task within the deadline,” he said.

An engineer at the site said six sections of the rail track had been damaged and they were hanging in mid-air. The damage ranges from 50 metres to 80 metres.

On the Ambala-Chandigarh rail line, a bridge had been damaged between Dhulkot and Lalru. Another bridge near Chandimandir had been damaged.

Meanwhile, work was going on a war-footing to repair the damaged rail sections on the Ambala-Amritsar and Ambala-Chandigarh rail line.

Nearly 1000 labourers are working to meet the deadline for completion of the repair task. While the Ambala-Chandigarh rail line is expected to be repaired by August 7 evening or August 8 morning, the Ambala-Amritsar main line is likely to be repaired by August 14.

The Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Divisions Mr Keshav Chandra said: “We will meet the deadline of August 7 for the Ambala-Chandigarh line and August 14 for the Ambala-Amritsar line.”

He said under normal condition, the quantum of repair work would have required three weeks to complete. “However, we are going to complete the same task in 10 days. We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that rail traffic is restored at the earliest. Experienced engineers are on the job and they will finish the assigned task within the deadline,” he said.

An engineer at the site said six sections of the rail track had been damaged and they were hanging in mid-air. The damage ranges from 50 metres to 80 metres.

On the Ambala-Chandigarh rail line, a bridge had been damaged between Dhulkot and Lalru. Another bridge near Chandimandir had been damaged.
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