No lessons learnt as bridges, drains still sans safety grills

AMRITSAR: Learning no lesson from the gruesome accident at Muhawa village in 2016 in which seven children were killed and over 20 were injured when a rashly driven school van fell into a drain from a bridge at Muhawa village, 35 km from Amritsar, such unsafe bridges still continue to pose a daily threat.

editorial@tribune.com

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 12

Learning no lesson from the gruesome accident at Muhawa village in 2016 in which seven children were killed and over 20 were injured when a rashly driven school van fell into a drain from a bridge at Muhawa village, 35 km from Amritsar, such unsafe bridges still continue to pose a daily threat.

Immediately after the Muhawa accident, the then government functionaries had announced to install safety grills on bridges and along drains. However, not much has been done in this regard so far.

The gruesome accident was not just a single incident. For instance, three students were killed and 36 others had sustained injuries in January 2016 when their school bus had fallen into a drain after colliding with a jeep near Thatha village in neighbouring Gurdaspur district.

Sarbjit Singh said a drain in his historic Sarai Amanat Khan continued to be without safety railing. He added that the problem was only with drains, while bridges on canals, minors and channels have cemented safety blocks.

Daljit Singh, a resident of Balharwal village in Ajnala Tehsil said, people while commuting over a drain without any safety railings risk their lives. With foggy days ahead, the chances of accidents also increase.

Despite announcements, the government has done little to provide logistics regarding such drains which are found in large number in the rural areas.

Past tragedy

Seven children were killed and over 20 injured when a rashly driven school van fell into a drain from a bridge at Muhawa village, 35 km from Amritsar in 2016. The van was taking students back home from DAV Public School, Neshta, when the accident occurred 5 km from the school at 1.30pm. All children were between seven and 14 years old and belong to the nearby villages of Tibbi, Muhawa and Neshta.

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