Four drowned in Kota canal, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla reach mishap site on late night
The three places where the incidents occurred fell under the Kunhari and Udhyog Nagar police station areas of Kota.
KOTA: Four people drowned at three places in a canal here, prompting Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla to reach one of the mishap sites late in the night after coming to know that none of the victims had been rescued till then.
On reaching the site, Birla, also the Kota-Bundi MP, felt upset after finding that the rescue operation had been stopped and no senior officer from the district administration was there to supervise or direct the resumption of operation or to console the grieving families.
Birla expressed his ire in a tweet to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot terming the absence of senior officials a matter of grave concern and called for a sensitive approach in such incidents.
The four drowned on Friday afternoon included a minor boy.
The three places where the incidents occurred fell under the Kunhari and Udhyog Nagar police station areas of the city.
While divers from Kota Municipal Corporation and State Disaster Relief Fund were able to fish out three bodies on Saturday, the search for the fourth one was still on.
On reaching the site, Birla consoled the grieving families and expressed his ire through his Twitter handle.
"On the report of drowning of three youths in the canal, (I) visited the spot at 12.30 am (on intervening nights of Friday and Saturday) and spoke to the families," Birla said in his tweet.
"The incident occurred at 3.30 (on Friday afternoon) but any senior official of the district administration did not reach the spot till late night which is a matter of grave concern. A sensitive approach should be adopted in such matter, the Speaker added, tagging Chief Minister Gehlot in his tweet.
Kota District Collector Harimohan Meena, however, refuted Speaker Birla's charges saying that many senior officials, including he himself, had visited the mishap sites on Friday evening to take stock of rescue operations which had to be stopped at night due to darkness.
He also denied that there was any delay in starting the rescue operations, saying the SDRF, Home Guards and KMC divers and personnel began the rescue operations at all three places soon after the district officer came to know of the drowning incidents.
The discharge of water into the canals too was stopped on Friday night, he added.
Three youths had drowned in Left Canal at two separate places under the Kunhari police station area while a 13-year-old boy had drowned in Right Canal near the Kansuwa bridge under the Udhyog Nagar police station area, the collector said.
Bodies of two youths, identified as Deepak Verma of Kota and Tanveer of the Tonk district, were recovered early Saturday morning immediately after the resumption of the rescue operation, he said.
The body of the 13-year-old boy, who hailed from the Baran district was recovered later on Saturday, he added.
The rescue operation is underway for the fourth victim, Dheeraj Verma, he added.
A compensation of Rs 1 lakh was also sanctioned for the families of each of the victims from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund, he said.