09052023-LT-01.qxd 5/9/2023 12:36 AM Page 1 c m y b Ludhiana tribune ANTI-TOBACCO CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED IN AHMEDGARH DAHAAD A CLUTTER BREAKER FOR ME, SAYS SONAKSHI Actress Sonakshi Sinha is playing the role of a cop in Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti’s web show. P3 MAINLY CLEAR SKY MAX 36°C | MIN 21°C YESTERDAY MAX 37°C | MIN 21°C SONAM PERFORMS AT KING CHARLES’ CORONATION EVENT As many as 450 challans worth ~24K issued by administration so far in drive that will continue till May 31 . P2 FORECAST The event also saw performances by pop stars Katy Perry and Take That at Windsor Castle on Sunday. P4 » » SUNSET TUESDAY 7.10 PM SUNRISE WEDNESDAY 5.35 AM » TUESDAY | 9 MAY 2023 | LUDHIANA NGT fact-finding joint committee Similar incident had taken place in city decade ago begins probe, visits mishap site Harshraj Singh Tribune News Service It also visited victims’ houses; inspected sewer manholes, meat shop, car washing unit GIASPURA TRAGEDY EIGHT DAYS ON, CAUSE OF MISHAP NOT KNOWN A magisterial inquiry was ordered after the incident. It has been eight days since the incident occurred but the authorities have yet to determine the actual cause of the mishap. The special investigation team formed by the city police has also failed to reach a conclusive decision so far, as per information. Ludhiana, May 8 In compliance with the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a fact-finding joint committee constituted by the tribunal has started its investigation and on Monday, it visited the Giaspura tragedy site where 11 persons, including three children, allegedly died due to inhaling toxic gas on April 30. The committee aims to identify the cause of the mishap that led to the deaths. After the tragedy, the NGT had taken suo moto cognisance and constituted the eight-member fact-finding joint committee, headed by the Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), which will submit its probe report to the tribunal by June 30. The panel, led by PPCB Chairman Adarsh Pal Vig and other members, including Regional Director (North) of the Central Pollution Control Board Gurnam Singh; Sheelendra Pratap Singh from CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow; Dr Lakshmi from PGIMER, HIMANSHU MAHAJAN Tribune News Service PPCB Chairman Adarsh Pal Vig (in yellow shirt) and other officials inspect a manhole at the tragedy site on Sua Road in Giaspura. Chandigarh; Uttam Chand from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF); and member secretary of the PPCB, GS Majithia, visited the mishap scene and houses of the victims and inspected sewer manhole locations in the area, nearby meat shop, and a car washing unit on Sua Road, Giaspura. The committee members also recorded the statements of survivors, rescuers and eyewitnesses who shared their accounts with them. Additionally, the committee took recordings of various viral videos related to the incident. Dr Adarsh Pal Vig said the joint committee visited the site of the incident today and the primary objective of the investigation was to identify reasons behind the mishap. The investigation was still in its initial stages. Dr Vig, as the panel head, further urged the public to provide any relevant evidence concerning the gas leak mishap to the committee to help the investigation. The panel aims to prepare a detailed and factual report to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. It was a preliminary meeting and all technical agencies have been requested to submit their reports as per their mandate for further consideration and analysis by the committee. Meanwhile, Kumar Gaurav, a leader of Yuva, an NGO, today demanded from the joint committee to probe the role of a private firm involved in handling of industrial waste. He has been asked to submit his complaint in written. A magisterial inquiry was ordered after the incident. It has been eight days since the incident occurred but the authorities have yet to determine the actual cause of the mishap. The special investigation team (SIT) formed by the city police has also failed to reach a conclusive decision so far, as per information. Notably, the NGT had constituted the eight-member fact-finding joint committee to be headed by the PPCB Chairman. According to the NGT order (dated May 2), the committee may meet within one week and complete its task preferably within one month. It will be free to interact with any other department, institution or individual and undertake visit to the sites concerned. The committee will be free to function online or offline as the situation may warrant. It may give its report to the tribunal on or before June 30. The NGT had also ordered that Rs 20 lakh compensation be given to each of the heirs of the 11 persons died in the mishap. Ludhiana, May 8 Eight days have passed since the Giaspura gas tragedy, in which 11 persons lost their lives and four others fell ill allegedly due to inhaling toxic gas. It was suspected that the gas emanated from a sewer manhole. But the exact reason behind the tragedy remains unknown so far. Unfortunately, a similar kind of incident had occurred in the city in September 2012, where 19 nursing students staying in a hostel fell ill. It was later revealed that the students had allegedly inhaled gas emanating from a sewer after bleaching powder was sprinkled into it. Some of the girls were treated at the Christian Medical College and Hospital here. An official from the institute had then stated that bleaching powder had been added to the sewer after cleaning the pipeline and students had been warned not to visit the area. After the Giaspura gas tragedy on April 30, the administration issued a press release, stating that air quality sensors used by the NDRF team detected high levels of hydrogen sulphide gas. And it was also stated that the gas might have led to the tragic incident. Meanwhile, a chemistry teacher, Varinder Pathak, said he wants to request the A worker breaks the lock of Aarti Clinic where members of a family had died allegedly after inhaling toxic gas. HIMANSHU MAHAJAN 19 NURSING STUDENTS WERE TAKEN ILL The incident similar to that of the Giaspura gas leak tragedy had occurred in the city about a decade ago where 19 nursing students staying in a hostel fell ill. It was later revealed that the students had allegedly inhaled gas emanating from a sewer after bleaching powder was sprinkled into it. fact-finding joint committee constituted by the NGT to investigate the utilisation of bleaching powder in industries of Giaspura. He claimed: “Utilisation of bleaching powder can lead to formation of phosgene, a highly poisonous gas, when bleaching powder comes in contact Factory worker robbed of motorcycle Families of victims were living in miserable conditions Ludhiana, May 8 During the wee hours of Monday, a group of three miscreants targeted a factory worker and took away his motorcycle. The worker, identified as Vijay Partap, said he was returning home after his night shift when three men riding a motorcycle stopped him near Basti Jodhewal. He alleged that the robbers had threatened to kill him after flashing a sharp weapon. To avoid being harmed, Vijay gave his motorcycle to the miscreants, who then fled the scene with the vehicle. He reported the incident after which an FIR has been registered by the Tibba police, which have initiated an investigation in the case. According to the police, CCTV cameras in the area are being scanned to identify the culprits. The unidentified robbers have been charged under Sections 379B and 34 of the IPC. — TNS Ludhiana, May 8 The migrant families, which became victims of the tragic gas leak incident at Giaspura here on April 30, leaving 11 dead and four injured, were living in miserable conditions, a visit has revealed. Putting up on upper floors of three dingy adjoining buildings located in the densely populated locality on Sua Road, the victims were exposed to life-threatening health issues in the absence of basic civic amenities. Toilets/washrooms neither have exhaust fans nor vent pipes. So much so, a drainage vent was present inside the room where one of the three families was residing. Moreover, manholes of the main sewer line passing through the congested area, where the victims resided, lacked road gullies or vent shafts, due to which there was no provision to discharge harmful gases produced inside sewer lines. Nitin Jain Tribune News Service The congested buildings where the Giaspura tragedy victims were staying in Ludhiana. TRIBUNE PHOTO: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN NO PROVISION OF CROSS-VENTILATION A visit to the buildings, which have since been lying closed as surviving members of the victim families have either shifted to some other places in the vicinity or have returned to their native places, has shown that there was no provision of cross-ventilation in the buildings. The victims were residing in the close vicinity (less than 50 yards) of a sewerage manhole, which was believed to be the source of the gas leak. Even as preliminary investigations have hinted that hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas could have led to the tragedy and the poisonous gas could have been formed due to industrial waste dumped in the sewer line, reports of samples collected from the affected sewerage manholes were still awaited to confirm the nature and source of the poisonous gas that had caused the disaster. However, members of the Bathinda-based 7th battalion of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), which had rushed to the spot within four hours of the incident, had also detected unsafe levels of H2S gas in the affected area on the fateful day. Acting on the expert advice, the decontamination of the affected sewerage line was done by diluting caustic soda through the manholes. Taking cognisance of the incident, the Commissionerate Police had lodged an FIR under Section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against the yet-to-be-identified culprits and District Magistrate Surabhi Malik had ordered a magisterial inquiry and had constituted a committee of officers, led by SDM (West) and comprising officials concerned of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), Municipal Corporation (MC), Deputy Director (Factories) and the Commissionerate, with directions to submit the report at the earliest. Besides, Commissioner of Police Mandeep Singh Sidhu had also formed a special investigation team (SIT) to identify the culprits in the case. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) also took suo motu notice of the tragedy and initiated the proceedings in the matter on May 2. “On consideration, we are of the view that intervention of the Tribunal is called for under Section 15 of the NGT Act for which it is necessary to ascertain the cause of the incident and remedial action taken and required, including measures to prevent such incidents in future and to compensate the victims by way of adequate compensa- tion,” the NGT Principal Bench, led by Chairman Adarsh Kumar Goel and comprising judicial member Sudhir Agarwal and executive member Dr A Senthil, had observed. Comparing the incident with similar tragedies that had caused deaths and injuries on account of violation of the environmental norms by state and private entities in the recent past, the NGT had ordered compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the kin of each deceased within a month. The NGT had also ordered a fact-finding probe into the matter and had formed an eight-member committee, headed by PPCB Chairman Adarsh Pal Vig, which was ordered to submit the report on or before June 30. Formally launching the NGT-ordered inquiry, the panel on Monday conducted the spot visit and also held a meeting here to deliberate various issues concerning the incident. with sewage due to formation of carbon monoxide.” He alleged that hydrogen sulphide in less concentration was not leading to death within a short period while phosgene could do it. Moreover, hydrogen sulphide was often used in laboratories by students for salt analysis. 6 test +ve for Covid in dist Tribune News Service Ludhiana, May 8 Six persons tested positive for Covid on Monday. The positivity rate was 1.95 per cent and there were 78 active cases in the district today. Nine patients suffering from Covid are admitted to various hospitals. Those who tested positive today include two persons suffering from influenza-like illness and two diagnosed during the OPD visit while two others are still being traced by the Health Department. Civil Surgeon Hitinder Kaur said a total of 1,14,486 persons have tested positive and 3,027 patients have lost their lives to the deadly virus since March 2020 in the district. On Monday, 307 samples were sent for testing which include 227 RT-PCR and 80 antigen samples. FIGURES Samples Positive Deaths 41,14,103 1,14,486 3,027 Peddler lands in police net with heroin, drug money ‘Gangster’ Sukha Barewalia shot dead at Haibowal Ludhiana, May 8 The police arrested a man allegedly involved in drug peddling on Sunday. The police claimed to have seized 60 gm of heroin, 20 transparent empty plastic pouches, one electronic weighing scale and a motorcycle from him. The police also alleged that Rs 5,000 drug money was seized from him. The suspect has been identified as Taran Singh of New Vijay Nagar Ludhiana, May 8 An alleged gangster, Sukhpreet Singh, alias Sukha Barewalia, was shot dead in the Joginder Nagar area of Haibowal today. Sukha was facing trial in 23 cases. According to information, Sukha and another man identified as Babbu had gone to the house of his friend Rohit to resolve a dispute. However, an altercation broke out between them and Sukha was fatally shot while The suspect in police custody. here. The police claimed that he was arrested when vehicles were being checked near Meena Bazaar Chowk yesterday. A case under Sections 21B, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered. — TNS ASHWANI DHIMAN Tribune News Service He and another man had gone to house of Rohit, who got injured Rohit was injured and taken to a hospital. Babbu managed to escape from the spot. The motive behind the murder is still unclear. The police have yet to determine who is responsible for killing Barewalia. When the incident took place, all three were in a first-floor room of the house c m y b as per information. When Rohit’s family members rushed to the room, they were shocked to see Barewalia and Rohit lying on the floor while Babbu had escaped from the spot. The sound of gunfire alerted local residents, who informed the police. Upon hearing about the incident, Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) Ravcharan Singh Brar and other officials arrived at the spot. Brar said Sukha was a category B gangster. Brar said Sukha along with Babbu had gone to Rohit’s house, who was an accused in a kidnapping case. It seems an altercation led to the shooting and the police are investigating the case. Rohit has been admitted to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital for treatment. The police are making efforts to arrest Babbu. The police also scanned the footage of the CCTVs in the area. Cops try to pacify the wife > > > and son of alleged gangster Sukha Barewalia in Ludhiana.
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