CHENNAI, November 5, 2011
Incomplete storm water drain turns death trap for woman
The Hindu The unfinished SWD on North Usman Road, T Nagar, barricaded after a woman fell into it on Friday. Photo: R. Ravindran
The victim's mother found the body floating ten hours after the tragic accident
The failure of the authorities to cordon off an incomplete stormwater drain in T.Nagar claimed the life of a young woman.
The 24-year-old victim, M.Sarala, fell into the drain on Friday night. Her mother found the body on Saturday morning.
The incident occurred on the busy North Usman Road around 8.15 p.m. on Friday. Sarala, a resident of Anna Veethi, 1st Street, MGR Nagar, was walking to a bus stop on her way home from a spoken English class at the Ramakrishna Mission Matriculation School on Krishna Street.
No one seems to have noticed her falling as a big banner, announcing an event, blocked the view of the drain from the other side of the road.
Her body was found with severe head injuries in the drain, which had iron rods protruding out and concrete slabs that were broken, Soundarapandianar Angadi police sources said.
Body lies unnoticed
Though the area receives several hundred shoppers and there is a constant stream of vehicles on the arterial road, the body lay in the drain for over 10 hours.
Since Sarala did not return home till late night, her brother Sakthivel and his friend Dhanasekar came to the school searching for her. "As we could not find her we approached the Soundarapandianar Angadi police, who directed us to MGR Nagar police station where we filed a missing complaint and returned home," Dhanasekar told The Hindu.
Around 6.30 a.m. on Saturday, Sarala's mother Amsa, accompanied by Sakthivel and Dhanasekar, came to North Usman Road on their way to the school to get information about her.
"She [Amsa] spotted her daughter's body floating in the drain just 50 metres away from the school. Sakthivel and I jumped in and pulled out Sarala, who was dead," Dhanasekar added.
A police team sent the body to the Government Royapettah Hospital for post-mortem.
A case of unnatural death under Section 174 of CrPC has been registered.
Sarala was the youngest daughter of Muniyan, a retired MTC conductor and Amsa. She was working as an English teacher in a primary school in MGR Nagar.
She had joined the spoken English class 15 days ago, Sarala's neighbour Adhilakshmi said.
When contacted, Chennai Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyan said the deadline for the completion of the stormwater drain project is 2013.
"There was opposition among the public during the Assembly and local body elections when officials tried to complete the drain work in many areas," he said.