The contractor of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and builders excavating land and indulging in illegal constructions on the Katraj-Balewadi stretch have been held responsible for Shindewadi tragedy in an independent inquiry conducted by subdivisional magistrate of Bhor.
The incident, in which a mother and her one-and-a-half year child were swept away by water gushing down a hill near Katraj tunnel, took place in June.
Addressing the media on Tuesday, District Collector Vikas Deshmukh said the report of the independent inquiry will be submitted to the Superintendent of Police (Pune rural).
“According to the report, NHAI contractors and those involved in illegal constructions on the Katraj-Balewadi stretch are responsible for the incident,’’ said Deshmukh.
Following the tragedy, developer Kisan Rathod was arrested and the district administration razed as many as 200 illegal structures between Katraj tunnel and Khed Shivapur stretch along Pune-Satara highway. The administration and the NHAI authorities also removed illegal structures obstructing the natural flow of water near the tunnel.
Earlier, the civic officials maintained that they had written to NHAI informing them about six dangerous spots -Shindewadi, Warje, Chandani Chowk, Bawdhan, Sutarwadi, Wadgoan - on the highway where jetting rain water from the hills could pose potential hazards. Officials said the storm water drainage system, which is the responsibility of NHAI, is missing at the 26-km stretch between Katraj and Balewadi.
They also highlighted the ongoing highway expansion work where NHAI has made no provision for the flow of water in case of torrential rains. Officials had also demanded that NHAI construct a retaining wall between the service road and the highway but there was no response from the NHAI.
DC urges citizens to submit details for Aadhaar linkage
With just 20 per cent Aadhaar linkage for LPG subsidy completed in the district, District Collector Vikas Deshmukh while convening a meeting on Tuesday urged citizens to submit bank details to their LPG agencies.
The collector said only 1.75 lakh bank linkages have been done so far. “With no directives received from the state and Centre, we will continue the drive to link Aadhaar to LPG subsidy,’’ he said. The district is set to revive the drive from November.
Officials of the State Bank of Maharashtra said the linkages have been dismal. “Only 5 lakh Aadhaar cards have been linked with the banks. We are urging citizens to submit the details as soon as possible,’’ said FDO Dnyaneshwar Jawanjal