By Zuber Ansari. Photograph by Trupti Arekar
Officials of the BMC, Fire Brigade officials and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) conduct search operations in full swing, while the city keeps hope and prays for the safety of the child.
Almost two days have passed since the horrific incident wherein three-year-old toddler fell into an open drain in Ambedkar Nagar locality in Goregaon. However, despite all efforts put by BMC, Fire Brigade officials and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to trace toddler seems to be vain as they are unable to trace him.
In the last 48 hours, all agencies carried out rescue operations along with the Sewage Works Department (SWD) initially and search was conducted in the drainage line for over 10km area from Goregaon to till Versova, but to no avail.
According to sources, the entire Zone XII police force with agencies jumped into the operation, most of these officials entered the 15 meter deep drainage for the toddler's search and while going to the Press, operation Divyanshu is still continuing throughout the night as well.
While speaking to reporters, Suraj Bhan Singh – father of Divyanhsu said, “The BMC and local police are not co-operating with us and they are not providing proper information about the rescue operation. While few people who are helping us, the cops are harassing them. Earlier, we made several complaints about the open drainage but no one acted over our complaints. We want that whoever may be responsible for negligence, should be booked. We are going to lodge an FIR against the concern government officials who responsible for this open drainage.”
While sources from the police said, “More than 10 km Nullah which connects Ambedkar Nagar with Versova has been checked and now the narrow gutters need to be checked. It is suspected that he is there. Everyone is concerned about Divyanshu and he may be found soon.”
It will be recalled that toddler Divyanshu slipped and fell into an open drain next to his house as he was walking by it on Wednesday night. As per reports, the drain was overflowing. The child, who tried to return home, slipped and fell into the four to five foot deep drain. While the mother came out looking for the child, she could not find him. She looked around for an hour. After people gathered to find the child, they found one of his slipper’s next to the drain.
The locals said that the drain has been open since four years. Though they had raised complaints with Birhanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) several times, no action has been taken. There was no cleaning happening as well. Top BMC officials had gone and met the family of Divyanshu and they assured that an inquiry will be conducted into the issue as to why no BMC officials had responded to the complaints. The open drain that starts from near the victim’s house is four to five foot deep. But it deepens further up to 15 foot and extends to about 20 km.