Kharguli Water Pipe Burst: AASU Protesters Burn Ashok Singhal's Effigy

The demonstration was organised in front of Swahid Nyas in Guwahati's Uzanbazar area.
Kharguli Water Pipe Burst: AASU Protesters Burn Ashok Singhal's Effigy

GUWAHATI: Following the Kharguli tragedy, in which a water supply pipeline ruptured, killing one person while damaging neighbouring structures and washing away multiple vehicles, the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) organised a protest by burning the effigy of state cabinet member Ashok Singhal.

The demonstration was held in front of Swahid Nyas in Guwahati's Uzanbazar area, where protesters could be seen setting fire to an effigy of the minister of housing, urban affairs, and irrigation, Ashok Singhal, and yelling anti-government chants.

“The incident yesterday was tragic and Assam government is entirely responsible for it. A woman died and many were injured apart from massive damages that were caused by the pipeline burst in Kharguli yesterday. We demand that ex-gratia be given to the deceased woman’s family and to bear all medical expenses of the injured persons,” one of the protestors said.

“JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) carried out testing without prior notice to the residents nearby. They should introspect on the incident and ensure that such an incident should never happen again,” he added.

The AASU member further noted that despite being small, pipeline bursts like these happen frequently in the city but go undetected.

A Gammon JICA water supply mainline pipe burst on Thursday at around 3 p.m. in the Guwahati neighbourhood area of Kharguli, resulting in a major water flow that swept away many vehicles and damaged at least 40 homes. According to reports, the incident affected over 600 people and injured about 30 people.

Sumitra Rabha was the only woman slain in the tragedy. She lived in one of the homes that was harmed by the water surge. The closest hospitals were hurried to treat the injured. Police have sealed off the area and are looking into what caused the explosion.

The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), however, has promised that the water supply will be restored quickly. The individuals who were impacted by the tragedy have, nevertheless, expressed their rage and unhappiness. They have asked the GMDA to pay them for the harm done to their property.

Ashok Singhal, a cabinet minister, demanded a thorough investigation into the event earlier yesterday. He added that it has been ordered for the Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner to go to the scene of the occurrence and assess the situation.

Ashok Singhal said to the media, “When hydro testing is done after the welding process of the pipes, the pressure is kept very low. We have never heard about such an incident of water bursting out after hydro testing has been successfully done. But the incident that has happened today is very unfortunate. A detailed inquiry will be done in regard to this. There is a safety audit for all pipes laid. The entire situation will be investigated.”

“A relief camp has been set up here. The DC has also been instructed to visit the spot and take stock of the situation here. I will also visit the area after the safety audit begins. After we get the detailed report after a few days, I will be back here and speak to the residents of the area,” the minister added.


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