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Bandra man takes on civic body over dug-up roads

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 11, 2011
First Published: 01:44 IST(11/1/2011) | Last Updated: 01:45 IST(11/1/2011)

After his fight against illegal police chowkies, a retired businessman has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking criminal action against civic officers and contractors, who dig up roads, and leave trenches open.

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Highlighting the January 5 incident when Wadala resident Marriamma Naidu, 60, died after falling into a trench dug by civic contractors to replace an underground storm water drain, the PIL sought that the corporation be directed to exercise precaution during construction work so that no one is injured.

The PIL filed by Bandra resident Indur Chhugani, 62, also sought that the corporation be held responsible for being negligent and failing to save lives.

VP Patil, Chhugani's lawyer, suggested an inquiry should be conducted by an officer not below the rank of a deputy commissioner of police into Naidu's death. “Criminal action should be initiated against the persons concerned. By such acts, the corporation fails to respect the lives of citizens,” said Patil.

According to the PIL, the municipal corporation and other utility agencies have dug up trenches on several roads for various purposes such as laying water pipelines and sewerage work. However, the BMC fails to effectively supervise the work and there is no follow-up. “No supervision is done by the BMC engineers and repeatedly children and other citizens, especially the elderly, fall into these trenches and die,” the PIL said.

While sometimes action is taken against a worker, the BMC engineers, who are primarily responsible for these deaths, escape with no action against them. “So, they continue with such negligent acts which are criminal,” the PIL added.


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