Children from Ashok Nagar slum play at the Metro construction site in Goregaon East on Thursday. Pic/Ranjeet Jadhav
For all the infrastructural development and progress, authorities don't seem to have learnt any lessons from renowned gastroenterologist Dr Amrapurkar's death due to falling in an open manhole last month.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, which is constructing the Dahisar-Andheri East Metro line along the Western Express Highway, has callously kept the trench surrounding the pillars at the construction site open. Children from Ashok Nagar slum in Goregaon East were seen playing there yesterday, oblivious to the risk to their lives.
What's worse, no security guard was present at the location to stop the kids.
It's difficult to gauge how deep a trench around an under-construction pillar is once it gets filled with water. At the Goregaon East site, there were iron rods poking out as well. In such a situation, a child can easily get grievously hurt or even drown.
On the stretch between Hub Mall and Aarey flyover, where the work is on, two spots give easy access to the pillars surrounded by water. Also, the stormwater drain under the Metro alignment was kept open in two places, which also is risky.
A local from the area said, "I have repeatedly told the kids not to go there and jump in the pit as it's dangerous, but they don't listen. Authorities should close access to the construction area and deploy a guard at the site. Otherwise, it's only a matter of time before one of them gets badly hurt or, worse, dies."
Additional Metropolitan Commissioner Pravin Darade said, "Since construction work began, contractors were asked to take all safety measures before going ahead with the job in order to prevent accidents. They have been covering and cordoning off the area."
When told about the children swimming in the trench surrounding the pillars, Darade added, "I will immediately speak with the contractor concerned and instructions will be given to enhance security there."
Other Metro woes
The ongoing Dahisar-DN Nagar Metro work along the New Link Road and Dahisar-Andheri East Metro work along the Western Express Highway has been leading to severe waterlogging and reoccurrence of potholes during and after rains. Along WEH, waterlogging was seen near Ashok Nagar in Goregaon East, while a stretch near Kandivli on the highway has uneven roads, causing a lot of inconvenience to motorists. On the Link Road stretch between I C colony and Don Bosco School junction in Borivli West, a huge number of potholes was seen, and waterlogging witnessed near Chincholi Bunder.
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