The Bombay high court on Friday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to take adequate measures to prevent mishaps and loss of life due to trenches dug for civic projects.
“The BMC should be careful and should put up barricades or some other kind of to avoid any future incidents,” a division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RV More said.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Indur Kartar Chhugani seeking criminal action against civic officials and contractors who dig up roads and leave open trenches.
The PIL was filed following the death of a 60-year-old woman, Marriamma Naidu, in January. Naidu had fallen into a pit dug up by a civic contractor for replacing an underground storm water drain line in Wadala.
Chhugani contended that the municipal corporation and other utility agencies had dug up trenches on several roads for various purposes such as laying water pipelines and sewerage work. However, the BMC failed to effectively supervise the work and there was no follow-up.
“Sometimes action is taken against workers of the contractor, but the BMC engineers, who are primarily responsible for these deaths, escape with no action against them,” the PIL said.
Meanwhile, the civil contractor, who undertook the replacing of the storm water drain in Wadala, increased the compensation to be paid to the Naidu family to Rs1 lakh. The contractor has already paid Rs50,000.
The court has now directed the contractor to deposit the additional amount.