Manhole Mumbai doctor may have fallen into had bamboo barricades, say locals
Locals at Elphintstone told HT that he fell into an open manhole though it was barricaded with bamboo stripsUpdated: Sep 02, 2017 08:33 IST
The mystery remains over how city doctor Deepak Amrapurkar, 58, disappeared while wading through the flood waters near the Elphinstone Road signal in central Mumbai during the deluge on Tuesday, only for his body to be found along the seaface in Worli on Thursday.
Locals at Elphintstone told HT that he fell into an open manhole though it was barricaded with bamboo strips. People, who refused to be identified saying they didn’t want trouble with the cops, claimed locals yelled out to an elderly man, who they think was Dr Amrapurkar telling him to be careful, but he kept wading in the waist-deep water and disappeared into the manhole before anyone could do anything.
One resident claimed this man stepped over the bamboo strips and that a passer- by rushed to rescue him but could only grab his umbrella.
Prathmesh Mahekar, the only local resident who was willing to identify himself, said, “The floodwater was flowing into the hole like a strong whirlpool and one could see that. People warned the doctor not to head that way. I did not see what happened but I heard he was walking toward Prabhadevi.”
The manhole had been opened up for the floodwater to flow away, said locals. Now a blame-game is going on between locals and the civic body over who opened it. Residents and local shop owners told HT that there were bamboo barricades to indicate the treacherous opening.
V H Khandkar, deputy chief engineer in the civic body, said, “The BMC opens manholes for maintenance only during April-May and between October-December. So, it was not opened for any maintenance work. However, it is evident from the damaged edge that someone opened it using a crowbar.”
Assistant commissioner of police (Dadar division) Sunil Deshmukh told HT, “We have filed an accidental death report and investigation is on. We are in the process of recording statements.”
According to locals, there were more manholes open in the area at the time for the water to flow down. Although it is unclear who opened up the manholes, locals said it is the civic body’s responsibility to make checks, especially when the city is flooding.