COIMBATORE: Police imposed a Rs 1,200 fine on a man who put the lives of his family at risk on Sunday by driving into a subway that was inundated in Coimbatore city following rain. The incident happened in the railway underpass near Kikani school junction, around 7.30 pm. The family, whose identity was not revealed, was rescued by locals and a special sub-inspector R Rajendran attached to RS Puram police station.
As per the sources, police placed barricades in one lane of the subway and closed it for traffic since it was flooded. But the man tried to cross it by driving in the lane that was open and got into trouble. Fortunately, police on the other side of the subway spotted them and came to their rescue.
The family was from Nava India and their friends from RS Puram were also in the car. They were returning to RS Puram from Patel road in Ram Nagar. An auto driver warned them about flooded subway, but they ignored it, sources said.
“The man who drove the vehicle thought that he could cross the water-filled underpass as they were in an SUV. But the vehicle got stuck in the middle of the water due to sensor failure and they were not able to open the doors,” said Rajendran.
There were two men, three women and two children aged 4 and 5 in the car. Sensing their situation, police officer went into the subway which had four feet of water. Meanwhile, the family activated the sensor by contacting the service centre and opened the windows. “Men and children were brought out through the window and we, along with locals, took the car carrying women, away from the water,” he added.
Following the rescue operation, the traffic police imposed a fine of `1,200 on the driver for his negligent and rash driving and for his violation of traffic diversion. Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation Commissioner (CCMC) M Prathap visited the spot and instructed officials to clear water logging at the place without any fail.
A CCMC official said, “The Kikani school underpass is one of the six vulnerable places in the city that usually submerge during rain. Due to the block in drainage, the level rises up to five feet when there is heavy rainfall. During such situations, police close the road and we pump out the water.”
“The Disaster Management Advisory panel submitted their findings and suggestions for managing stormwater logging at six major underpasses in the city during rains in May 2022. The panel suggested solutions, along with architectural advice, based on the findings. But, no efforts were taken to fix these problems,” he added.
(Read the full report on www.newindianexpress.com)