Geetha had come to the city from Tamil Nadu to spend her Dasara vacation
Geetha (9) had come to the city to enjoy her Dasara vacation, but it turned tragic on Monday when she slipped into an overflowing drain following heavy rainfall and got washed away.
“Geetha’s hand slipped from mine as she fell into the drain. I just want her to be rescued…,” cried Dhanalakshmi, her aunt, who was walking with her when she fell into the drain, near Jayadeva Hospital junction in Bilekahalli. Overcome with emotion, Dhanalakshmi lost consciousness and was rushed to a hospital. Grandmother Rukmini was inconsolable.
Geetha had come to Dhanalakshmi’s house 10 days ago. Her parents, who live in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, have been informed about the incident and are expected to reach the city on Tuesday.
Soon after Geetha fell, local residents immediately jumped into the drain that is around six-feet deep.
Julie, a local resident, said even after looking in the drain for two hours, the child could not be traced.
Bilekahalli councillor N. Roopa Ramesh said the slab over the drain was not covered properly. She said the drain was being desilted and since the slab was not placed, the child fell in. The drain leads to Madiwala lake and rescue personnel suspected that the child may have been washed away into the lake.
BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayana admitted that the desilting was delayed. He said desilting was taken up across the city and was in progress in some areas. He said the search operations would continue till the body was found.
Contradicting him, city in-charge Minister R. Ramalinga Reddy said desilting in this stretch was carried out around three months ago. The slab was opened owing to some construction activity nearby, he claimed.
Without ruling out negligence on the BBMP’s part, he stated that an inquiry would be conducted.