Babus neglecting the warning bells?

Death trap: Children playing near an open drain  in front of their house unmindful of the risk, in Mandya. DH photo

The recent incident of a woman stuck in a drain for hours, which should have ideally rung a warning bell to the officials in Mandya, sadly has barely made any impact.

Even after a shameful episode of an elderly woman being stuck in the overflowing drain water with no help around, infront of LIC office, officials have failed to rectify the problem.  
The woman suffered for more than four hours when her leg was trapped between the iron rods running across the underground drain which was badly clogged.

Since the water had stagnated, it gave no clue to the pedestrians what was in store beneath it.

While this is one part of the plight faced by people, another area Gandhinagar, situated right in the centre of the city lacks UGD system and has many open drains running across the length and breadth of the ward, inviting danger. No arrangements have been made to fix this problem.

Children have no other place but to play on the roads and the residents have no other option but to bear with the increasing number of mosquitoes. Even with the fear of an epidemic outbreak, the city even dreads the upcoming monsoon as these open drains are posing threat to the lives of the innocent public.

Maintenance

City Municipal Commissioner Ramaswamy said that maintenance of UGD comes under the CMC, and the cleaning system of the whole city has to be maintained by the present staff whose strength is low. Till now, the CMC has taken up only cleaning the clogged drains when there are complaints, he said.

There are only a very few skilled regularised workers, and hence it becomes difficult in attending to the whole city, he added.

There are plans for the CMC to handover the UGD maintenance to the Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the members’ opinion is also same, he said.

But in a meeting held earlier, on sharing the responsibilities, the officials of Sewerage Board had put forth certain demands on the issue.

 Hence, the handing over the responsibilities is highly unlikely, he said.

The residents here says the babus are busy celebrating birthdays of leaders and are brushing aside the issue as a freak incident. Will they wake up only when there is a casualty? they lament.

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