College student breaks legs trying to walk on footpath

Pedestrians nightmare

College student breaks legs trying to walk on footpath

A City college student realised this the hard way when she broke both her legs after falling into a 5.5ft deep pit left open by the civic authorities on Castle Street off Richmond Road here. The fracture would keep her crippled at least for a month. The victim, Shwetha Raju, a Christ University student, had just come out of a shop late on last Tuesday evening.

Unaware of a missing slab on the footpath, she took a step beside a Bescom junction box and fell right in. Since there was no street light to guide pedestrians, Shwetha could not judge the pit at all.

She was admitted to Hosmat Hospital, where the doctors found that she had suffered an open fracture on her right leg and left foot.
Dr Ajit Benedict Royan, vice-president of the hospital, said that a rod had to be inserted in her right leg and casting on her left foot.  “It will take more than a month for her to walk as both her legs are badly injured due to the fall,” he said. Shwetha has so far spent more than Rs 1 lakh on her surgery.

Contractors working there  tried to cover up the incident   by restoring the slabs immediately after the incident. The BBMP completely washed its hands of the episode, stating there was no open space at the spot in the first place.
Tears filled her eyes as Shwetha recalled the fall.

“I never thought that just walking on the footpath would break my legs and cripple me for a month. I have my exams next month and also a trip abroad which would not happen now,” she said. 

Her father, Upendra Raju, has decided to lodge a complaint with the consumer court and wants to highlight the incident as an example of “dangerous footpaths” and the civic authorities’ utter callousness.

Shopkeepers in the area complained of many such incidents earlier.  Castle Street is full of civic problems. The road was dug up to lay 220 KV lines a month ago. The road has not been restored, making it a bumpy ride for motorists and a nightmarish zone for pedestrians. “The BBMP,  BWSSB, BSNL and BESCOM have all ruined this road digging at will. If you question one agency, they blame the mess on the other,” said a resident.
DH News Service

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