Hopes of tracing toddler fade

Hopes of tracing toddler fade


Emergency services personnel conducting search operations at Madiwala lake in Bangalore on Thursday.  DH Photo

But the State Government came down heavily on Royal Residency layout builder Ravi Reddy who had allegedly encroached upon 22 ft of the drain width. A criminal case under Section 302 of the IPC was lodged against Reddy. Another case under the Karnataka Municipality Act, RW-321 was registered against CR Ravi, the owner of the site where Viji and his family resided illegally, informed Bangalore (South) in-charge Minister, R Ashok.
The owner was blamed for not providing appropriate accommodation to the family.

 “We will be doing a thorough search on Friday for one last time and end the operations any which way by sundown tomorrow,” informed Deputy Director (Technical) from the Fire and Emergency Services, B K Hampagol. 

Presenting a cheque for Rs 1 lakh as compensation to Viji’s family on behalf of the government, Ashok inspected the search operations at the accident spot. “The laxity on part of the BBMP and other authorities in spreading awareness among slum-dwellers on keeping children indoors has been one reason for the tragedy. We have also booked a criminal case against the private layout builder,” said the Minister.

Ashok, however, rubbished allegations that a portion of the retaining wall torn down by BBMP could have been a reason for the boy being washed down the drain. “The layout builder is the primary culprit because he encroached upon the land meant for the drain. The encroachment narrowed the drain width from 24 feet to just 2 feet,” he said. 
 
 On the accumulation of silt and the Palike not clearing the drains earlier, the firemen agreed that there was a possibility that the search operations were hampered by it. Even the minister in-charge agreed that the accumulation of silt and dirt in the drains did adversely affect search efforts. “It is a possibility,” he said.

Adding another 20 personnel to the strength of 140, squads from the Fire and Emergency services worked their way into the Madivala Lake, over a two-square kilometre territory, in search of Vijay. All drains were dug up and searched around Royal Residency Layout by the firemen with the help of BBMP men and machines.

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