- BBMP responded a day late to a public call on someone seeing a floating body at Kambipura in Bengaluru outskirts.
- The resident from Kambipura called BBMP on Sunday to inform about the incident, BBMP reached the spot on Monday.
- The BBMP, State Disaster Response Force, National Disaster Response Force all put together consist of 250 people are engaged in the search operation.
- The BBMP likely to call off the search operations on Wednesday.
Ironically, the BBMP which was informed about a floating body in Kambipura Storm Water Drain in Bengaluru on Sunday by a resident reached the spot only on Monday to search. The officials suspect that the body, by now, have reached the Sangam, of and Arakavathi and Cauvery Valley merging point in Srirangapatna.
After Shathakumar drowning incident became national headlines, M Sadiq a resident of Kambipura had informed the BBMP about a body floating in the storm water drain that connects to river basin after Kumbalgodu. The BBMP instead of making a quick decision to send a team to fish out the reported body, decided to stay put at Kurubarahalli and surroundings and only on Monday evening they reached the Kambipura Village in Bengaluru South Taluk.
"I told BBMP officials a body was floating in the drain and since it rained on Sunday night too, there is the possibility of body getting washed away further and connecting the Vrushabhavathi valley, from there this valley will merge with river Arakavathi. Had the BBMP deputed their personnel on Sunday itself, the body could have been fished out," said Sadik.
However, the BBMP officials dismissed these claims and said they were tirelessly doing their job to search the worker who has since been missing. "Over 250 personnel have been pressed into the search operations. BBMP contract workers and divers are searching at the edge on the drain and Vrushabavathi valley and National Disaster Response Force official headed by Sub Inspector Rajesh have come with boats and are searching in the middle of valley," said Natesh Babu, Assistant Executive Engineer, BBMP Storm Water Drain Department.
In the morning, Mayor Padmavathi visited the spot at Kumbalgodu and revived the search operation. She sought the search operation details and said, about 10 teams have been formed each team comprising 10 members and are deputed in the drain and valley to search the missing person. "So far, 16 kms stretch has been covered and still we could not trace him. After the search operations, a decision will be taken on silt traps in all the drains to stop such incidents from repeating," said Mayor.
Silt and sewage make our job tough: NDRF
NDRF which is involved in the operation with the State Disaster Response Force and BBMP team is searching the river valley by boat but since there is sewage and silt, the work is becoming slow. "The boat cannot move freely as it gets stuck in the silt. Apart from that, there is sewage inflow into the drain and valley. Had the silt and sewage not been let in the drain, we could have traced the person by now," said Keshav, S.I, NDRF.
The search team entered Byarmangala Lake in Bidadi in Ramanagar District by 5pm and have been searching for the body of Shanthakumar. The outlet of the lake connects a canal that will lead to river Arakavathi and Cauvery merging point called Sangam and from there the water reaches Mekedatu a tourist spot. If officials fail to trace the body in the tank, then search operations will be called off on Wednesday.
Sources from BBMP said, the civic body will continue its efforts on Wednesday and then declare the missing person as dead. "Since it is raining every day, tracing the body is posing to be challenging. The higher officials believe that, the body would have washed away further and reached Sangama. If that is the case, then, the missing worker will never be traced," said a BBMP official.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:40 PM IST