A 54-year-old theatre personality and television actor died when he rode his two-wheeler into a huge ditch dug up by BBMP workers to install sewage pipes. The accident occurred on Bahadur Hayavadana Rao Road in Gavipuram Extension early on Sunday and came to light six hours later after a passerby, who noticed the body, alerted the police.
The deceased Ashok Kumar, a native of Hassan, was residing in Ittamadu. He was active in theatre and had also acted in several TV serials, including Mahaparva, Pallavi Anupallavi, Classmates and others. Police said Kumar had gone to Hosadurga in Chitradurga district by car on Saturday morning to act in a play after parking his two-wheeler at a friend’s house near Ramakrishna Ashram in Chamarajpet. They returned around 3.30 am on Sunday and Kumar took his bike for his ride home.
While riding along Bahadur Hayavadana Rao Road, he failed to notice a barricade placed in front of the ditch, rammed his bike into it and plunged into the ditch along with his motorcycle. He sustained severe injuries and drowned in the sewage water.
There were hardly any vehicles on the road at the time of accident and Kumar’s body was noticed only around 8.30 am.
The accident once again turned the spotlight on the work practices of BBMP. Mayor B S Sathyanarayana lashed out at the officials responsible for delay in completion of the drainage work and has summoned BWSSB engineer-in chief T Venkataraju and BBMP commissioner M Lakshminarayana to his office on Monday. “This could have been avoided had the work been completed. I have warned officials to finish work on a war-footing,” he said.
A defensive BBMP said it had taken permission and took up the work 10 days ago. After the work was started, the road was made one-way and warning boards and barricades had been put up around the ditch, it said.
“We rule out negligence of the BBMP staff. It is suspected that Kumar was overspeeding and failed to notice the barricades or the warning boards in the dark. He may have rammed into the barricades due to sleeplessness,” Basavanagudi traffic police said.