A brother-sister duo drowned after a 72-inch water pipeline burst in Indira Nagar near Bandra Terminus in Bandra (East) and water gushed into their home on Friday morning, officials said. The civic body has undertaken repairs on a wall situated on the water pipeline on a war-footing. According to civic officials, the pipeline burst was reported around 10.35 am. “The pipeline burst suddenly and water accumulated in the adjoining shanties due to the high pressure of water. The children were reportedly inside the shanties when the incident took place. Around 10-12 shanties were affected. The residents were moved out of the area forcibly to avoid further accidents,” said an official.
Officials from the disaster management department said eight-month-old Vignesh Doiphode and his nine-year-old sister Priyanka were rushed to Bhabha Hospital in Bandra (West) and V N Desai Hospital in Santacruz (East), respectively. Both were declared dead on arrival. Senior officials from H (East) ward office said it seemed the shanties had been constructed three-four days back. “These are not permanent structures but shanties with plastic and bamboo near the pipeline. All the 10-12 shanties are illegal and will be removed in the next few days,” said Alka Sasane, the assistant municipal commissioner of the ward.
“There are 200 such illegal structures in Indira Nagar and around 2,000 such structures in our ward. We are finalising the list of illegal structures and alternative accommodation will be given to eligible residents. All illegal shanties will be removed by October as per the High Court directions,” she added explained that a 10 meter distance would be kept on both sides of the pipeline after the drive and a protection wall would be built.
Haji Mohammed Halim Khan, the local Shiv Sena corporator, alleged the civic authority’s failure in carrying out maintenance work for the decades-old pipelines. “The valve on the pipeline was weak and it broke due to high pressure of water. How can the hydraulic department not carry out regular maintenance of such things? Such valves should be changed and other repairs should be carried out across the city,” said Khan adding that he would raise the issue at the civic body meeting.
The Nirmal Nagar police station has registered a case of accidental death. The investigations are on, said an officer.