The civic body on Monday clarified its stand and said it will not provide any compensation to the family of 12-year-old Rukhsana Anwar Shaikh, who drowned in the Deonar nullah on Sunday.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said the civic body couldn’t be held responsible for Shaikh’s death, as there was no negligence on its part.
Shaikh, a resident of Zakir Hussain Nagar in Govandi, had along with three other friends had gone to the nullah for a swim, according to her family members. However, the timing of her swim coincided with the high tide, which raised the level of the water in the nullah by at least two-three feet.
During high tide, the backwaters of the Thane creek enter the nullah. This rise in water level was blamed for Shaikh’s drowning.
LS Vhatkar, chief engineer, storm water drain, said, “We will not be offering any compensation to the girl’s family. The death, though unfortunate, was not caused due to negligence from our side. Currently, there is no ongoing project on the nullah and hence, it was solely the locals’ responsibility, before venturing inside.”
Local Congress corporator and chairman of M ward committee, Vitthal Lokare blamed BMC. “This is complete negligence on BMC’s part. The BMC spends crores cleaning these drains, the least they could have done is to barricade and have safety walls around the nullah, to prevent anyone from entering. I will protest and write to the civic chief about it,” he said.
Vhatkar said, “All across the city, our nullahs are open. Hence, it is not fair to blame us for the incident.”