Woman’s death: MCT responsible for RUB maintenance, says Min

The flood water at the RUB was drained out completely by clearing the debris and it was opened to traffic immediately by the MCT authorities.
Image used for representational purposes only (File photo)
Image used for representational purposes only (File photo)

VIJAYAWADA: The Union Ministry of Railways, which conducted an inquiry into the death of a woman when a vehicle was stuck in a waterlogged Road Under a Bridge in Tirupati in October last year, has stated that the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT) is responsible for the RUB maintenance and it is for the State government to take action against the official concerned for the lapse.

Tirupati MP M Gurumurthy raised a question in the Lok Sabha about the incident which led to the death of a woman from Karnataka after getting stuck in the waterlogged RUB near the Tirupati west police station.

Making a statement in the House, Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said as per the arrangement of execution, the MCT is accountable and responsible for post-construction maintenance of the RUB. “Necessary pumping arrangements are to be provided, operated and maintained by the MCT to make the road usable in all seasons,” he said.

The minister said there was a downpour and a flash flood for about one-and-a-half hour near the RUB on the night of October 22 last year. “Due to heavy and intense rainfall of more than 100 mm, there was a sudden rise in the water level at the RUB as the drainage arrangement provided could not cater to the sudden and excessive runoff coming from surrounding areas like Agricultural University, Tirupati West Railway Colony, SV University, VC Bungalow and SV High School due to unexpected blockage of drain by debris washed from surrounding areas,’’ the minister said.

“An SUV coming from Raichur in Karnataka with seven passengers tried to pass through the RUB despite warning to the driver by the passengers against it. The driver ventured and made an attempt to wade through. As it was raining heavily and due to a heavy accumulation of water, the vehicle was stuck and submerged in the water on the approach to the RUB. All seven passengers were rescued from the water. A woman passenger died while being shifted to hospital. This unfortunate incident happened due to gross negligence of the vehicle driver,’’ the statement said.

The floodwater at the RUB was drained out completely by clearing the debris and it was opened to traffic immediately by the MCT authorities. Listing out the various remedial measures taken up to minimise the problem of waterlogging, the Railway Ministry said steps like clearing of debris and silt removal in the drains are taken at the RUBs before the onset of monsoon.

Monsoon patrolling is also being done during the rainy season in identified areas. Two such incidents were reported, one in AP and the other in Tamil Nadu, and two persons died in the mishaps, the ministry said.

When the MP asked whether the MCT Commissioner was held accountable for the incident, the Railway Minister said it was the MCT, which was responsible for the incident. “Action is to be taken by the State government,’’ he added.

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