10-month-old girl falls into open drain in Ggm’s Sector 31, dies
A 10-month-old girl child died after she allegedly slipped into an open drain, about 1.5 foot deep, while playing with her cousin in Sector 31 on Monday evening. Her family has alleged negligence on part of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram.
No FIR has been registered yet in the case, police said.
The incident took place around 4.15pm in front of the hutment where victim Devika’s grandfather, Tek Chand Panwar, lives. Panwar, who irons clothes for a living, said he was working in his shed when his grandson came out with the toddler. “Suraj took his mother’s mobile phone and was playing a game on it. He forgot to attend to Devika who crawled to the drain and fell into it. After a few minutes, I did not find her around. We started looking for her and found her floating in the drain 20 metres away from the spot,” he said.
The family members said that they rushed her to a hospital where doctors declared her brought dead. According to the family, she died due to drowning as the water was found in her lungs.
“Had the MCG covered the drain, my daughter would have been alive,” said distraught Luxmi Panwar, mother of the deceased, alleging negligence on part of MCG.
According to locals, the open area adjacent to the drain attracts children from nearby slums to play and their parents have several times requested the Sector 31 residents to write to civic agencies about the open drain.
Members of the resident welfare association (RWA) said they had written to the station house officer of Sector 40 police station and to MCG commissioner to visit the area and to check the missing basic amenities. “It’s been nine months since we have been writing to the local politicians and the civic agencies, but no action has been taken. Our sector is one of the most neglected one by the MCG,” said Daman Dewan, RWA president, Sector 31.
The residents said similar incidents have happened in the past, but this was the first incident where a child died. “In earlier cases, the children were rescued quickly from the drain as the depth was not too much. But Devika was taken out from the drain almost 15 minutes after she fell. Her body was found a few metres away from where she had fallen,” said Rahul Kumar, a security guard in the area.
The residents said the drain at some places is covered with grass and many times people also step on it and fell in the drain. “At least six accidents have taken place last week,” said Mohammad Ali, a tailor who has a shed near the accident spot.
ID Garg, former vice-president of Sector 31 RWA, said he had taken up this matter with MCG and chief minister’s office (CMO) several times in May and June, but to no avail. “I had written to the officials in this regard. The drain, which is mostly uncovered, is filled with garbage and leading to nowhere as the water would just accumulate near Silver Jubilee Park. The drain needs to be covered at the earliest. It is unsafe for pedestrians too as it is not visible due to the grass,” he said.
Amit Khatri, deputy commissioner and MCG commissioner, said, “The responsibility will be fixed and improvements will be made at the earliest. I will direct the officials concerned to cover the drains,” he said.
The toddler was cremated in Rajasthan on Tuesday.