Rashmi Rekha Das

Tension ran high at Bidanasi area in Cuttack on Tuesday as locals gheroed Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) mayor Subhash Singh and commissioner Nikhil Pavan Kalyan after the duo visited the spot where a nine-year-old boy died after falling inside an open drain while flying kite on Sunday.

Residents of the locality including the family members of the deceased minor boy mobbed the Mayor and Commissioner demanding compensation and transfer of the junior engineer.

As per reports, 9-year-old Joseph Sahani, a class III student of Modern Public School, died after falling into an open drain at Bidanasi on Sunday evening. Joseph had stepped out of the house without informing anybody at home. He fell down in the open drain when his family members were watching television. 

Joseph’s father said, “Apart from being a good student, my son used to help me in my business. He used to help me in packaging the snacks meant for selling. He wanted to be a collector and give us a good lifestyle. I would like to blame CMC for my son’s death. It was the duty of the civic body not to keep the drain open even though construction work was not over. I lost my son forever. All I want is compensation.”

Cuttack Mayor Subash Singh, said, “Six months back, I visited the accident site. Also, the CMC mayor earlier visited the locality. As the lane was not the main road, three slabs were there to cover it. We will take action against those who are involved in removing the slabs from the drain.”

He went on to add: “When it comes to compensation, we have drawn the attention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in this regard."
Notably, a photo journalist from South Korea suffered injuries after falling into an open drain in Bhubaneswar a few days back. He had come to cover the Hockey World Cup. He fell into the open drain while having a cup of tea at a roadside stall at Dumduma area.

Reported by Debasis Mohanty, OTV