A 12-year-old girl drowned in an open nullah in Govandi slum, along the Mankhurd-Ghatkopar Link Road on Sunday.
Family members of Rukhsana Anwar Shaikh said she had gone to swim in the nullah with four of her friends around 12.15pm.
Najmunnisa Shaikh, Shaikh’s mother said Rukshana went to the nullah in the Zakir Hussain Nagar area of Govandi along with three of her friends to get some respite from the heat. Najmunnisa called her daughter home after some time. “However she went back to the nullah without informing me and that was the last I saw of my daughter,” added Shaikh, a mother of four.
Mohammad Islam, 50, a resident of the Zakir Hussain Nagar who helped get the victim’s body out of the nullah said the water level rose in the nullah and Rukshana found it difficult to get out.
“One of the girls who managed to get out of the water told me that Rukhsana was drowning. I got her out with the help of a few locals and took her to Rajawadi Hospital. She was declared dead before arrival,” Islam said.
Locals said the victim drowned because of the high tide at the time of accident.
They said the water level of the nullah had risen by two-three feet. The reason for this was that the backwaters of the Thane creek enter the nullah during high tide everyday, locals added. On Sunday, the high tide began at 11.42am and by 2 pm it was at its peak, which is when the incident took place, the locals said.
Vitthal Lokare, local corporator and chairman of the M ward committee blamed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the accident. “There were no barricades alongside nullah.”
Lokare added he will give Shaikh’s family some money as compensation and demanded that the civic body do the same.
“We have registered an accidental death report in the case,” said police sub inspector R Chandanshive, from Mankhurd police station.