Forgotten pit under Mumbai's newly opened flyover claims child's life

Apr 20, 2014, 06:36 IST | Shailesh Bhatia

BMC officials have not bothered to fill up dug up roads and trenches below the swanky new Santacruz Chembur Link Road (SCLR). A six-year-old boy drowned in one such water-filled hole yesterday

A day after the Santacruz Chembur Link Road (SCLR) was thrown open to the public, a pit dug under the flyover by BMC men, who had conveniently forgotten to fill it up — claimed a life when a six-year-old child fell in the water-filled pit and drowned.

Rita Devi, mother of the six-year-old Abhishek Jaiswal, at the spot under the SCLR (below), where he drowned. PIC/SAYED Sameer Abedi

Six-year-old Abhishek Jaiswal, son of a migrant labourer who resided with his family below the SCLR, went missing on Friday. His body was discovered by his father Surinder Jaiswal in the open, water-filled trench, running over 20 feet long and five feet deep.

“The body was sent to Rajawadi Hospital for postmortem. He was playing in front of my eyes and suddenly disappeared,” said Rita Devi, the child’s mother. Urmila Singh, a neighbour, said over 250 families from Akbarpur in Uttar Pradesh, including the Jaiswals have been staying in shelter camps under the flyover in Kurla for a year.

Munna Alam, a local activist, who has filed a complaint with the BMC and has been helping the Jaiswals stated that the trench was dug by the BMC, apparently to make a gutter, which eventually remained filled with groundwater.

Investigating officer API Digode of Kurla Police Station said investigations were on and he would be recording statements of both the parents along with the BMC officials responsible for digging the trench.

Assistant commissioner Harshad Kale of L-ward said the people responsible for digging the trench had not been identified yet. “ Nevertheless, we have taken remedial action by barricading the area and ensuring that such accidents do not occur in the future,” he said.

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