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Utter callousness

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Governance

The BBMP's negligence has cost a two-wheeler rider his life. Palike workers left a storm water drain in Fraser Town open after cleaning plastic waste from it on Thursday.

Venkateshwaralu, 60, employee of a security agency in Banasawadi, fell into the drain when it was raining. While the motorcycle was washed 50 metres away from where he fell, Venkateshwaralu's body was found stuck in a grill in the drain 200 metres away.

The incident is suspected to have taken place around 8 pm when the deceased was returning home. Venkateshwaralu lived in Ulsoor. Police said he was in a hurry to get home as his wife was unwell.

For the full text, click on:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Bangalore/Two-wheeler-rider-washed-away-in-storm-water-drain-/articleshow/4567164.cms

The fuller text of the article (which appeared in print) stated in addition as follows, under the caption "POLICE UNHAPPY WITH PALIKE":

The police are upset with BBMP officials for their laxity. “We informed them about the incident and asked them to send some men. But nobody turned up and the locals helped us fish out the body. Till evening, BBMP did not even make an effort to replace the slabs,” said a police officer. When contacted, a BBMP official casually said it must have been a drunkard. Jurisdictional ACP B B Ashok Kumar will now write to the BBMP asking the agency to close all such openings in the area. “Monsoon has begun and there can be more such accidents,” he said.

Over 5 years back, in a similar incident, a whole family was washed away. It is not known what kind of a compensation the surviving members of the family got after that, and more importantly, if anyone was specifically held accountable for it, and what action was taken against the person/s.

Perhaps it's time the civil society takes this specific case and pursues it right to the end in order to bring about a cultural change in the outlook of the BBMP and similar authorities.

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

Rithesh's picture

Sue the BBMP, contractor and the Govt

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These incidents will repeat unless the guilty are punished and an example is set. Like in the westerns countries the victims family should come forward and sue the BBMP, the contractor and the government for their negligence and they should claim heft compensation.

The BBMP should inturn punish the concerned officer/contractor by paying for the compensation from the officer's salary/pension fund or from the contractors fee.

Unless such drastic steps are taken, such incidents will keep repeating.

kiran8's picture

Shocking news !!

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Honestly This is not the first time that such an incident has taken place during rains. A couple of years earlier a student got off a bus and was sucked uo into a water drain and was killed. How many lives do the BBMP is planning to claim. I think we praja of bangalore should join together and make sure that they first take care of the citizen's interests - one never hears about such shoddy jobs done anywhere close to the ministers dwellings, or  places where the high and the mighty frequent...It is such a disgusting state of affairs..

 

 

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sanjayv's picture

who is accountable?

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This is what would be carry a charge of negligent homicide.  A good man is no more while according to news reports, couple more people almost had the same fate.  See this report and photo in the Hindu. 

http://www.hindu.com/2009/05/23/stories/2009052360630300.htm

 Somebody has to be held responsible to provide some incentive for the bureacracy to pay attention to safety.  As the public agency responses indicate, they believe that this is the price you pay to live here... hota hai.  How many such dealths happen due to poor attention to safety at construction sites across the city, state and country every single day.  Is there a legal impediment to getting a responsible official thrown in jail, even if for a few months?  I think once a few of our officials see the inside of our prisons, the incentive for attention to safety will be there.

Srivatsava's picture

Blame the BBMP, but it could be.....

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    Yes, I am as appalled by the death of the elderly man as anyone of you. But, I do not subscribe to the view that the cause of his death is due to callousness or shoddy work.  I have a different reasoning, and the cause of the accident is much beyond a few people.

      Firstly, suppose this drain was closed with a slab and used as a footh path. It would have still led to the accident. the man would have hit the footpath kerb and sustained some injuries. He might have put a pedestrian into trouble. So, to me the cause of the accident (not death, hope you get the difference) was not that the open drain, but poor visibility for the man.

   So, to me the cause of the accident is non-existant or insufficient lighting on the street. The insufficient lighting could be because of any of the following reasons

  • non-existant street lamp
  • A power cut, or an outage due to a fallen tree (after the rain)
  • A tree/ billboard/structure could have created a 'shadow' region.

   So, in my opinion, it is necessary to address all these points, rather than 'conveniently' attack the BBMP. The blame could be either on the BBMP, BESCOM, the contractor executing the work.. or even the man riding the bike..

  Lets not be judgemental based on a media report. Our civic agencies are notoriously bad, but the media is not necessarily 'correct'...

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

kiran8's picture

When there is any repair

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When there is any repair work  , which involves digging and opening drains , it becomes the duty of the authorities to highlight the area with sufficient Warning notice , Red lights and barricades. But in how many places around the city do we come across any such warning? One simply cannot blame poor lighting facilities or a power cut for their negligence to do so. I think they need to take responsiblity and accept failure on their part to provide enough security and forewarning to the drivers . So far they have never been held individually accountable for their actions, once that is done, things might improve. I sincerely hope that at least now they  will take measures  to see that such accidents do not occur. Incidentally, day before yesterday, just a kilometer away from the last accident spot, at the Pottery Road junction there was another gaping drain  nearly 4 feet long and wide ,where a cyclist was nearly drowned. It was the Fraser Town Traffic Police who took quick action, by helping the man and  quickly dragging  metal road dividers and barricading the drain on all sides. I was watching the whole incident.

So obviously the attitude by the BBMP is extremely callous and they dont seem to know the first thing about citizen safety nor do they want to take responsiblity for their actions....We citizens wake up only when things happen to one of our closed ones, otherwise, we too tend to look for excuses and explainations for such actions...

 

 

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murali772's picture

finding alibi's

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@Srivatsava - I am surprised by your remarks.

Now, street-lighting, as well as drainage ( as different from sewerage), both come under BBMP. So, whichever way you look at it, BBMP is culpable.

Yes, the rider made a few mistakes. But, it wouldn't have led to the fatality had it not been for BBMP's total negligence. They have stated that they don't know who removed the slabs. But, do they have a mechanism in place whereby a citizen who notices it can report and have it readily attended to? They don't, and they will never put it in place either if citizens find convenient alibis for them.

Atleast, the media is discharging its duty as the watch-dogs of the society - and fairly effectively too, I may add.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
s_yajaman's picture

Gross negligence

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BBMP thinks that its only job is tarring roads and building magic boxes. 

If they actually made the drunkard comment the family should take them to court on two counts - gross negligence and slander.  Make them pay so much that they will fix this problem.

Srivatsava seems to have a very soft corner for BBMP - I mean how can you even defend them on this.  Yes many other things "might" have happened, but the fact remains that he died because of an open drain. 

I was on Residency Road on Thu night and just 30 mins of rain and the whole road was like a river and the area near garuda mall was like a lake.  So much for their competence.

Srivathsa

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

kiran8's picture

Dark, raining and the visiblity is poor...

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First of all placing a few stone slabs does not help esp when it is dark, raining and the visiblity is poor. The area that has been dug up  should be properly barricaded in such a way that no person can shift it or move it easily. That is just an excuse to shift the blame from themselves.If they were serious  they would have  placed some warning signs with reflectors so that one is forewarned , see the sign  from a distance- that is not asking for too much when a person's life is at stake.They have to think about the issue seriously and if there is one more such incident, the citizens should act ..

 

 

http://kiran8-various.blo...

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