Palike 'callousness' blamed for Bilekhalli mishap

Palike 'callousness' blamed for Bilekhalli mishap

The ‘callousness’ of BBMP is said to have led to the bizarre incident in which a nine-year-old girl was feared washed away after she slipped into an overflowing drain at Bilekhalli on Bannerghatta Road Monday night.

Even as efforts are on to trace Geetha Lakshmi (9), a native of Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu, local residents say that the accident could have been averted if BBMP had taken steps to cover the drain properly. Slabs covering the drain had been removed at a few places and the girl accidentally slipped into the gushing waters at one such point.

Bannerghatta Neighbourhood Association Joint Secretary Dr Vishnu Prasad said that every time it rains, the gutters overflow and they have to pump out the water.

BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana, who visited the spot, admitted that the Palike had been repairing Bannerghatta Road and the drains for the six months. To facilitate some repair works, the slabs covering the drain had been removed at a few places. “As this is a major road, the road repair and desilting of drains are taking more time. We will complete it soon,” he told reporters.

Local residents said that desilting and repair of the drains have to be completed much before monsoon. “The BBMP not only delayed these works, but also failed to take proper measures during rainy season to check untoward incidents,” said Manjunath, a resident of Bilekhalli.

“Drains are overflowing at some places as people throw waste into the drains. They too should be blamed. The stormwater drain near Jedimara junction on Bannerghatta Road is full of sewage,” rued Dr Prasad.

Meanwhile, Mayor Shanthakumari said that the slabs had been removed by some local residents. However, officers, if found guilty, will be suspended, she added. 

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