The death of an eight-year-old boy Atif Mohiuddin, who drowned in an open nala at Bilalnagar in Old City on Sunday evening, was a tragedy waiting to happen.

A big portion of the nala that is under construction is without a retaining wall or a slab covering it and posed a risk for children of the area. The widening works on the nala began about four years ago, but has not yet been completed.

The widening was taken up at the request of the residents, as the area was getting inundated with the nala overflowing whenever it rained. “We welcome the works, but not at the cost of human lives. Even the death of a small boy has failed to move them,” complained Syed Mohsin, a local businessman.

The locals claim that they had been requesting the authorities and public representatives to ensure that the works are completed fast, but to no avail.

“The works are taken up for a few days and stopped for weeks on some pretext,” complained another local resident. The open drain is also leading to unbearable stench in the area making it difficult for us to live here, said another resident Mohammed Shakeel. The absence of a retaining wall poses a major risk for children and womenfolk in general warn their children not to venture near the

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