Deadly negligence: Family protests after child drowns in open manhole

Published: March 26, 2015
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Noor Fatima, daughter of Muhammad Arshad, fell into the manhole near her home in Jameel Park. STOCK IMAGE

Noor Fatima, daughter of Muhammad Arshad, fell into the manhole near her home in Jameel Park. STOCK IMAGE

FAISALABAD: 

Dozens of people staged a protest demonstration on Wednesday against Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) after a two and a half year old child drowned in an open manhole.

Noor Fatima, daughter of Muhammad Arshad, fell into the manhole near her home in Jameel Park.

Her family and neighbours blocked the main Raza Abad Road. They chanted slogans against WASA officials and demanded their immediate arrest.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Arshad said that the cover of one of the manholes in their street had been missing for the past six months. “We had requested WASA officials several times to replace the cover. However, no action was taken. Noor Fatima was playing along with other children in the street when she fell in the open manhole. When I heard the other children screaming, I ran outside and pulled my daughter out of the manhole. However, it was too late by then and she had died,” Arshad said.

A team of Raza Abad police met the protesters and assured them that action would be taken against anyone found responsible for the death.

WASA Managing Director Syed Zahid Aziz suspended Assistant Director Muhammad Boota, Sub Engineer Muhammad Owais and Overseer Maqbool Ahmad from service on charges of negligence.

He also announced financial compensation for the family. An inquiry committee, headed by WASA Director Adnan Nisar, has been formed to investigate the incident.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2015.

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