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Week after mishap, baby's body found 5 km from new Katraj Tunnel

“The officials of National Highway Authority of India and those who constructed illegal structures along the NH-4 Highway are responsible for my daughter and wife’s death,” said the grieving father of 14-month-old Sanskruti Wadekar, whose body was found yesterday, five days after she was swept away along with her mother Vishakha by rainwater gushing down the hills near the new Katraj Tunnel on the Pune-Satara Highway on June 6.


Body of evidence: Cops, who helped search for Sanskruti Wadekar (inset), point out the spot where her body was found yesterday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

Some local villagers and the baby’s father traced the body in the vicinity of Mauli Park Co-operative society, Shindewadi, five kilometres away from the spot where the incident occurred. The mother’s body was found on June 7, the next day of the incident.

“The district administration always wakes up from its slumber when a tragedy occurs and this incident was no exception. The authorities are only now taking action against illegal encroachment. I would have appreciated their efforts if they would take action in the vicinity of the tunnel where the incident happened due to waterlogging. The demolition, however, is being conducted far away from the spot,” said Sachin Wadekar, father of the baby.

Wadekar also blamed the fire brigade officials for not making proper efforts in the search and rescue operation of his daughter. He said that along with Shindewadi villagers and two police officials of Rajgad Police Station, they had been searching for Sanskruti’s body since the last five days, and the fire department were not of much help.

Demolition drive
Meanwhile, after the tragedy authorities continued their demolition drive of illegal structures that have sprung up at Shindewadi and surrounding areas along the Pune-Bangalore Highway. Earlier, on June 11, over 70 illegal structures were demolished in Khed-Shivapur area.  “As many as 162 illegal structures (all commercial) between the stretch of Khed-Shivapur upto Shindewadi were demolished yesterday. The nullah clearing work has also been undertaken by the district administration. We didn’t face any resistance from the people like what we faced on Tuesday’s demolition drive in the same area,” said Resident Collector Anil Pawar. 

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