Mumbai rains: Mother pulls out son's body from flooded nullah
Family of 18-year-old who drowned in Malad alleges that creating a path across a nullah resulted in excess flooding
After searching for her son through the night, it was Rasati Raja's worst nightmare come true when she saw a body in the nullah. "My heart skipped a beat. I went closer and saw it was my son, floating lifelessly in the water. I jumped in and started pulling him out," sobbed Rasati, mother of Harijan Nagendran, 18, who drowned in a ditch in Malad after Sunday's heavy showers.
Rasati had spent 10 hours searching for her son, after he went missing on Sunday evening. The 18-year-old resident of Muthu Mariamman Nagar loved football, and had stepped out around 4.30 pm for a game. When he hadn't returned by 9 pm, his mother grew worried. At 7 am the next morning, she saw his body in the ditch.
Harijan Nagendran was only half as tall as the ditch, and would not have been able to fight the overflowing water and climb out. Pic/Nimesh Dave
"When we pulled him out of the nullah, there were no marks on his body. We don't know how he fell into the ditch. His friends have given various versions of the incident, so we don't know what actually happened," she said.
Family blames BMC
mid-day visited the spot and found that the nullah was about 10 feet deep. Nagendran was about 4 feet tall, so once he fell in, it would have been tough for him to fight the overflowing water and climb outside.
Following the incident, BMC officials drained the stagnant water by joining the ditch to the Malwani creek. They also installed warning boards at the spot. But Nagendran's family blames the civic body for not taking these steps earlier. "A 10-foot nullah in a residential area is dangerous. It was covered in the middle so that vehicles can pass over it, but this blocked the flow of water. The nullah got submerged in rain water, and Nagendran could have fallen into it never realising there was a ditch there," said the teen's brother, Nagraj.
Despite repeated attempts to contact Sanjog Kabare, the local ward officer, he was unavailable for comment. The Bangur Nagar police have registered a case of accidental death.
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