Man falls into open manhole in Kurla, dies

Civic body failed to provide warning signs, covers for drains and manholes: Residents 

 Mumbai : A man died after he fell into an open manhole at Kurla near Eastern Express Highway. The incident took place late on Friday night, between 12 and 12.30 am according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) disaster management unit.

Local residents said Dinesh Jatholiya, 24, fell into a manhole which was covered by a plastic sheet, while he was out on a stroll. He cried out for help for over an hour. Eventually, he was pulled out by locals, but it was too late. It is likely that low visibility at night prevented Jatholiya from spotting the open manhole, resulting in his fatal fall. He had been walking on the footpath which is the median between the Eastern Express Highway and a lane to enter Kurla, when he stepped on the plastic sheet spread over the manhole, which was on the footpath, and fell in.

Jatholiya was rushed to Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital at Sion where he was declared dead on arrival. Until Saturd

ay night, police were try- ing to get in touch with Jatholiya’s family members or relatives so that they could claim the body.

Residents said they have been facing problems because of the open drain for over a year now. They alleged that the civic body had failed to provide warning signs, covers for drains and manholes before the onset of monsoon. A Kurla resident said, “There are several uncovered manholes in the area. After we complained, some of them were covered, however, few are still open. We have been complaining about this for a year.”

“The body of the deceased was shifted to Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital at Sion for autopsy and a probe has been initiated,” said a BMC official, adding, “There may be some residents who could have opened the manhole cover for the rainwater to recede.”

According to Nehru Nagar Police, an offence has been registered against the contractor of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for causing death due to negligence (Section 304 (A) under the Indian Penal Code.The BMC had stated in the Bombay High Court last week that it was rain-ready and over 1,400 safety nets had been installed on manholes in the island city.On June 7, three-year-old Aadiyan Parvez Tamboli had died after he failed to see an open gutter in Cheetah Camp area in Chembur (E) during the rains. Following the heavy downpour last year on August 29, 2017, Dr Deepak Amarapurkar, a renowned gastroenterologist from the city had died after falling into an open manhole. The incident had sparked furore and raised questions about the BMC’s efficiency.

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