Mumbai: Woman falls into open manhole, alert man's quick action saves her

Updated: 23 November, 2017 19:08 IST | Suraj Ojha | Mumbai

Two months after top doctor Deepak Amarapurkar's death, an open manhole in Mulund almost claims another life

It killed renowned gastroenterologist Dr Deepak Amarapurkar, but the authorities haven't learnt their lesson. We are talking about open manholes, which sucked in a woman at Mulund last morning. Around 6.15 am, Mulund resident Neelima Puranik, a singer, fell into an open manhole in Bhakti Marg, Mulund, while on her way back home from a temple.

Neelima Puranik
Neelima Puranik

A real estate agent who visited the Ganesh temple Neelima went to daily, Gopal Maradiar, told mid-day, "We met every day in the temple. She would come there sharp at 6 am and leave after 10-15 minutes."

Also read: BMC utility departments to be held responsible for manhole maintenance in Mumbai

"In fact, on Tuesday, on my way to the temple, I saw the manhole open on Bhakti Marg. Its cover was missing. Around 6.15 am, I heard that someone had fallen in. So I rushed to the spot and saw that it was her inside," he added.

Policemen at the incident spot in Mulund
Policemen at the incident spot in Mulund

Maradiar hurriedly called up the local police as well as the fire brigade for help. "Around 20 minutes later, authorities reached the spot and got her out with the help of a ladder, after which she was taken to a hospital. She sustained quite a few injuries," he said.

Also read: Mumbai civic body to fit city's manholes with new covers

The manhole later covered by a fibre-reinforced plastic cover, temporarily. Pics/Rajesh Gupta
The manhole later covered by a fibre-reinforced plastic cover, temporarily. Pics/Rajesh Gupta

According to a few locals, Neelima fell nearly 10 feet inside, which was too deep for anyone to be able to pull themselves out.

Missing covers
Senior inspector at Mulund police station Shripad Kale said, "We rescued her with the help of the fire brigade. She was taken to Veer Savarkar Hospital for treatment."

"We have received several complaints from BMC and locals about manhole covers being stolen. We have asked our team to investigate and also increased patrolling to curb such thefts," he added.

Also read: Another man held for Dr Deepak Amarapurkar's death in Mumbai floods

Assistant commissioner of T ward Kishor Gandhi said, "We have lodged a complaint with the police regarding today's incident as it happened due to the manhole cover being stolen. Such incidents have increased in the last one month - 40 to 50 covers have gone missing. We have informed the police."

Also read - Mumbai: Two BMC cleaners die in a bid to get phone out of manhole

When contacted, Neelima's son Nikhil said resignedly, "We don't want to pursue this. There is no point... the incident is not going to affect anyone and there won't be any change in the system. Hence, I don't wish to talk about it."

Number of manhole covers stolen in a month, as per BMC

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Deepika Padukone

First Published: 22 November, 2017 15:15 IST

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