Careless KMC: City manholes become death traps

Even after the open drains in the Garden Reach area continue to claim the lives of kids,the civic body is hardly taking any notice.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: February 23, 2009 3:08:34 am

Even after the open drains in the Garden Reach area continue to claim the lives of kids,the civic body is hardly taking any notice.

Mohammad Arman,a one-and-a-half-year-old boy fell into an open drain while playing in the park on Saturday.

After a thorough search,the locals fished him out and rushed him to a doctor. But he was declared dead on arrival.

A few months ago,Sania Khatun,a-two-year-old girl,was swept away after she fell into an open drain near Ramnagar Lane in Garden Reach.

The residents believe that such accidents could have been avoided if the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) had taken the initiative to cover the open drains. The manholes lie exposed after the Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP) workers had removed their covers to clean up the drains. These have become virtual death traps now.

Further,drainage pipes have been lying on roads for long,disrupting the flow of traffic.

The overflowing gutters are a nuisance for the residents of Garden Reach,Metiabruz,Tiljala and Tangra areas. In some areas in Garden Reach,surface drains are 12-15 feet deep and 25-30 feet wide,as these are connected to the Hooghly river.

To make matters worse,the area is full of illegal constructions. There are several buildings constructed on the retaining walls of the drains.

All building rules are flouted openly,without any intervention of the local administration.

Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya,however,said: “The KMC should not be blamed for these accidents. They happen due to the sheer callousness of the family members of the kids.”

The open drains will be covered once the underground drainage upgradation programme under the KEIP is over. As of now,there is no temporary solution,” he added.

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