“The sewage drain is situated near a private school and runs through the locality. The kids were having fun and had come near to the drain when Nanu wandered even closer and fell into it. A team of police rushed to the spot upon getting information and launched a rescue operation. The drain is approximately 8 feet deep,” said assistant sub inspector, Murlipura police station, Sita Singh.
“After searching for almost one and a half hour, we found the body of the child around 100 feet away from the place where he had fallen. He was rushed to the Kanwatiya Hospital but doctors declared him dead,” said Singh, who is investigating the case.
He said Nanu, who hails from Motihari in Bihar, was living in Jaipur with his aunt. His father, a vegetable vendor, is on his way to Jaipur and a postmortem will be done after his arrival.
As the blame game erupted, the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) suspended junior engineer (JEN) Kusum Lata Garg for negligence and lodged an FIR against a private contractor who was given the work to clear drains in ward number 4, where the incident took place.
JMC commissioner Hemant Gera said: “The junior engineer Kusum Lata Garg has been suspended while executive engineer (XEN) Pawan Agarwal and assistant engineer Ratan Singh were charge sheeted.”
Gross negligence on part of JMC
Open drains in the city show gross neglect on part of the JMC, which has done a cringe-worthy job when it comes to cleaning of drains before monsoon and covering them. In most areas of the city, drains are left open, making it risky for pedestrians and children and in some cases after cleaning the drain the garbage is also dumped aside.
“I have raised the issue several times to the JMC administration but no one has ever listened to me. Most drains in our areas are open and the child drowned in such a drain,” said Ward 4 councilor Sushil Sharma.
Executive engineer Agarwal, earlier in the day, claimed that most of the drains had been covered.
“After doing the cleaning of the drains, we had covered them. Only those areas which were damaged during cleaning weren’t covered. The child drowned after falling in the drain in one such place where the covers couldn’t be installed,” said Agarwal.
Police, however, countered his claim, saying in other areas too drains are not covered.
Ashok Gupta, deputy commissioner of police (west), said: “We are investigating the matter and if it is found that the drain was left open because of negligence of anyone then action will be taken.”