mid-day editorial: Don't add to the bottomless pit of trouble

Sep 22, 2017, 06:07 IST | mid-day correspondent

It's imperative that people learn from their mistakes. A few weeks ago, on August 29, a deluge took the city hostage. It revealed that despite a gap of 12 years since the 2005 floods, little had been done to prevent a similar crisis. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Mumbaikars resorted to panic as the city witnessed the second heaviest September rain in over a century over Tuesday and Wednesday.

Adding to the woes of citizens was a deep trench at a Metro site in Goregaon that was left open. Incidentally, this pit has become a makeshift swimming pool for children from an adjacent slum.

Kids have been taking regular dips in this rainwater-filled trench. Since nobody knows how deep it is, there's a high probability that children may drown in the trench. Even if the kids know how to swim, unknown obstacles in the pit, such as iron rods, pose a threat. Also, there may be storm water drains below.

No security guard or Metro official guards this pit. Onlookers can easily spot kids playing near the pit or taking a dip during daytime. Since a top city doctor lost his life after falling into a manhole on August 29, one would expect that the authorities would be more cautious about keeping such pits open.

Construction sites should be inaccessible to the public. Usually, the authorities put up signage to ensure the common man doesn't stroll into such sites. How is it, then, that the children were not stopped from entering the Metro site? How is it that these kids entered the pit unnoticed?

Mumbaikars already have a lot on their plate with tree falls, old establishments crumbling and train cancellations, let's not add to their woes. The contractor in this case should be brought to book. But first, stop kids from accessing this watery grave.

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