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Drowning deaths: Civic body slaps Rs 50,000 fine on contractor

A day after three brothers drowned in a pit dug along the Mithi river in Kalina,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation fined the contractor a meagre Rs 50,000.

Written by Express News Service | Published: May 3, 2012 2:08:23 am

A day after three brothers drowned in a pit dug along the Mithi river in Kalina,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) fined the contractor a meagre Rs 50,000. The civic body also sent a showcause notice to Shyam Narayan on Wednesday,asking him to explain the security lapses around the construction site in terms of proper barricading. BMC officials admitted that the security guards employed by the contractor were not present at the site on Tuesday since it was a public holiday.

While the Kurla police station had earlier named MMRDA officials in the FIR on Tuesday,on Wednesday it was made clear by MMRDA that the work was being done by the BMC. “Investigations showed that the BMC contractor is responsible for the negligence that claimed the lives of three children. We have now named the contractor in the probe,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni.

According to senior civic officials,contractors are responsible for maintaining security around construction sites. They are expected to adhere to the tenders conditions,whereby they are expected to adequately barricade the construction site and deploy security guards to monitor the area. Often,however,the tin barricades are stolen by local residents who sell them in the scrap market.

Chief engineer (storm water drains) L S Watkar said,“We have taken the necessary action by penalising the contractor. He has been asked to respond to the security lapses.”

“Anyone can easily trespass to the trench after crossing the premises of Kailas Parbat residential building at Kapadia Nagar. People from our slum have been regularly complaining to all agencies and the police department to put in place security measures since most of the children play here for lack of any other place,” said Azhar Chaudhury,resident of the area and uncle of the three children who drowned on Tuesday.

Eight-year-old twins Abdul Rahim and Abdul Karim and 12-year-old Abdul Aziz were playing in the open area adjacent to the river at Kapadia Nagar on CST Road when the incident took place. The pit was dug as part of the ongoing Mithi river project being undertaken by the BMC,under which retaining walls are being built to train the flow of the river.

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