Six-year-old boy Abhiram drowns in overflowing drain in Vijayawada

Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, fire and police officials launch search for the toddler.

Published - May 05, 2023 04:54 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Rescue operations under way to find a missing boy who fell in a open drain, at Gurunank coloney, in Vijayawada, on May 5.

Rescue operations under way to find a missing boy who fell in a open drain, at Gurunank coloney, in Vijayawada, on May 5. | Photo Credit: G. N. Rao

In a tragic incident, a six-year-old boy reportedly fell in a drainage and drowned at Gurunanak Colony, in the city on May 5.

“The boy Abhiram accidentally fell in the overflowing drainage while playing and drowned,” said the locals.

The boy’s parents Veerababu and Nukaratnam were seen wailing inconsolably at the spot. Mr. Veerababu is a worker. Heavy rain lashed the city in the noon and rainwater stagnated at many places. The main roads and colonies were flooded with rainwater and the drainages were overflowing.

“The children were playing near the house. Abhi slipped and fell in the drain and another boy tried to save him. But, Abhiram drowned in the flowing drain and disappeared,” said a local resident Lakshmi.

The Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Response and Fire Services, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) and Police officials launched search for the missing boy.

Scavengers, experts in rescue operations and silt removing teams were pressed into service to search the boy. “Workers arranged an iron grill at the end of the drainage at Nidamanuru, where the drain will merge in a canal,” the VMC officials said.

Local MLA Gadde Rammohan Rao said the negligence of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) killed the boy. “Road and drainage development works were not taken up in many colonies,” Mr. Rammohan Rao said.

Abhiram’s mother Nukaratnam with her relatives.

Abhiram’s mother Nukaratnam with her relatives.

Mayor Rayana Bhagyalakshmi and VMC Commissioner Swapnil Dinkar Pundkar and other officials rushed to the spot and monitored the search operations.

Locals said the ‘Panta Kaluva’ was encroached and ramps were constructed and some residents closed the drain at many places.

“As the drainage was kept open, the boy fell in it and drowned. Despite many appeals, the VMC sewage officials did not respond to our plea,” the resident alleged.

Mr. Swapnil Dinkar said about 60 workers and rope parties were deployed to search the boy. The scavengers were going deep into waters and were searching for the victim. “Dumpers and silt removing machines were arranged to carry out the search operations,” the Commissioner said.

“The canal was about 3-4 ft deep. As there was a heavy rain, the drainage was overflowing. We are searching the sub-canals and all the main drains which were connected to the drain,” Mr. Swapnil Dinkar said.

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