Andher Nagari: MCD, DJB, DDA : Why no penalties?

TIMES VIEW

As we have repeatedly said in the past, such incidents will keep recurring till we set right our system of penalties for negligence by civic authorities. Not only must the body responsible pay the victim a minimum compensation of Rs 10 lakh in such cases, a substantial chunk of that penalty must be recovered from the individual or individuals who are responsible for such negligence.

Apart from the monetary penalty on these individuals, they must also face criminal prosecution. Only such strong measures can act as an effective deterrent against the kind of callous disinterest we routinely find in our civic bodies.

9-year-old falls in open tank, dies

Indrani Basu | TNN

New Delhi: A nine-year-old boy died in northwest Delhi after falling into an open sewage pumping station while he was playing with several other children. The pump, falling under the purview of the Delhi Jal Board, reportedly was without a cover. A case of negligence has been filed against the DJB.

Abdullah, a resident of Jahangirpuri D-Block jhuggi, had come back from reading his afternoon prayers and was playing with his friends around 2.30pm when the incident took place. His playmates immediately informed his family.

Two fire brigades were rushed to the spot where the body was fished out two hours later and declared brought dead by officials in the Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital.

Said a senior police officer, ‘‘The pump was 70-80 feet deep and the body was found around 5pm. We have slapped a death due to negligence case against the DJB as the tank was uncovered.”

Boy falls into manhole, killed

Alarm Was Raised Three Hrs After Six-Yr-Old Adil Disappeared

WHO IS TO BLAME?

No agency was willing to take responsibility

for this manhole on Tuesday

Neha Jain | TNN

New Delhi: A six-year-old boy died on Tuesday morning after falling into an open manhole in Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Nagar. Three hours after he fell in, Adil Raza’s body was spotted by children playing on the street, after which labourers who had been working nearby pulled the body out of the manhole. The boy’s body was found 20 feet away from the manhole he had fallen into.

Adil was immediately taken to AIIMS Trauma Centre where he was declared dead on arrival. A case of negligence has been registered at the Jamia Nagar police station. ‘‘Quite predictably, no authority is willing to claim responsibility for the manhole. We have asked for an inquest and are still investigating,” said Satish Kumar, chief investigating officer.

He added, ‘‘This is not the first time a life has been lost because of the negligence of authorities. A number of pedestrians, particularly children, have lost their lives in the same way in the past.”

As news of the death spread, residents of the colony came out in large numbers, demanding the authorities cover up any other open manholes immediately.

Mohammad Sulemaan, Adil’s maternal grandfather, said, ‘‘Adil woke up at 7:30 in the morning and went to play outside. He must have fallen in while playing on the pavement, not realizing there was a manhole behind him. He was in there for more than three hours. It was only at 11am that we came to know about it.”

The family had moved to Delhi from Bihar a few years ago. They had rented a new, one-room apartment in Shaheen Bagh only four days ago.

Adil’s grandfather said, ‘‘We immediately called the PCR, which arrived quickly and took Adil to hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. If only we had got to know a little earlier, the doctors might have been able to save his life,” he added.

Adil’s father (Mohammad Asif Raza) makes leather bags for an export house, his mother (Gudiya) is a housewife. Mohammad Sulemaan confirmed the body had been sent for postmortem and would be handed over to the family the following morning.

neha.jain@timesgroup.com

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