Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

A valuable life was lost as a man reportedly fell into an open and under-constructed narrow drain at Mahima Nagar area under CRRI police station in Cuttack on Thursday. The district administration and Municipal body faced severe backlash from the local residents following the development.

After the telecast of the unfortunate incident in Odisha Television Limited (OTV), Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) swung into action soon and the open drain was covered with slabs immediately.

View More | Man dies after falling into open drain in Cuttack; locals allege official apathy 

However, no reaction from the CMC officials and the concerned contractor could be obtained in this regard.

As per reports, the deceased was working as a mason in Cuttack and he was a resident of Jajpur. Some local residents found the body floating in the drain and informed the local police about the development. Subsequently, police reached the spot and recovered the body.

According to local residents, slabs have been removed and the drain is left open for more than a month due to the ongoing construction work in the area. As a result, the victim reportedly fell on the narrow drain with one-foot width while returning to his residence in the evening after finishing his work.

Following the death of the person, tension prevailed in the area as local people expressed their resentment over the development. They alleged that such incidents are frequently happening due to the lackadaisical attitude of the administration. Some of them also alleged that the concerned contractor had left the drain open by leaving the construction work halfway for a month under the pretext of the prevailing election code of conduct.

Resentment Brews Among Locals

“The administration is fully responsible for the tragic incident. The innocent life, which has been lost, could not be retrieved anymore. We have requested the administration to cover the open drain several times in the past. However, they repeatedly turned deaf ears to our pleas. They suddenly woke up from their deep slumber after a valuable life was lost. Was the administration oblivious about the ordeal of the commuters in the area due to the shoddy condition of the road? We don’t understand why they are so much lackadaisical about the difficulties that the public are facing for a long period of time,” said Abhimanyu Pati, a local resident.

“If the issue could be solved within two hours, why was the administration neglecting the work for more than a month? Due to the indifferent attitude of the administration, an innocent life was lost. He was an earning member of the family. Now, what will happen to his family? CMC is fully responsible for the unfortunate incident. The administration should take steps to ensure livelihood for the bereaved family. Moreover, a thorough probe into the incident should be launched immediately and stern action should be taken against the erring officials,” said Rajkishore Mishra, another resident of the area.

Though these kinds of tragic incidents are repeatedly happening in Cuttack, the administration is not taking any major steps to sort out the issue, the local residents further alleged.