Dhaka: Neither the Chittagong City Corporation nor the Chittagong Development Authority have accepted responsibility for the death of Sheherin Mahmud Sadia, a college student who fell into a drain in Agrabad, Chittagong.
However, Chittagong district administration’s investigation report says, considering the possible risk, this accident could have been avoided by repairing the upper part of the drain or protecting the front part of the drain during the Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) pavement renovation.
The Chittagong district administration has given such an inquiry report on the death of Sadia on the orders of the high court.
Justice Md. Mojibur Rahman Mia and Justice Kazi Md. Izarul Haque Akander High Court High Court Bench report filed.
On August 25 last year, Saleh Ahmad fell into a canal in Muradpur area and drowned. The following month, on September 27, university student Seherin Mahbub Sadia fell into the Nashirchhara Canal near Nabi Tower in Agrabad. His body was recovered after a five-hour search.
A legal notice was sent in this regard on October 19. Later, Sadia’s family and Law and Arbitration Center filed a writ petition in the High Court on November 25 seeking compensation for Sadia’s death.
The High Court issued a ruling on the hearing of that writ. In addition, the high court was asked to inquire about whose negligence caused the death of Sadia. According to that, Chittagong district administration assigned Senior Assistant Commissioner Tanveer Hasan Chowdhury to investigate. After the investigation, this report was submitted to the High Court.
According to the opinion part of the report, none of the Chittagong City Corporation and Chittagong Development Authority have accepted responsibility for the death of Seherin Mahmud Sadia. Both authorities stated that the girl accidentally slipped and fell into the drain while walking over the girder and ruled it an accident. By reviewing the location and safety of the drain at the site of the incident, it can be seen that the road adjacent to the drain at the site of the accident had a dustbin and a wall built by the City Corporation earlier, so it was working as a safety fence, but during the work of the project titled ‘Construction of Elevated Expressway from Lalkhan Bazar to Shah Amanat Airport’ in Chittagong. The development authority demolished the dustbins and rehabilitated roads and footpaths. Chittagong Development Authority has done sidewalk work on the side of the road there, but no sidewalk work has been done on the upper part of the canal adjacent to the road and no safety fence has been constructed. No slabs or any renovation work on the footpath only at the top of the drain leaves an area approximately 11 feet long and 3 feet wide wide open, increasing the risk of falling into the drain. In this case, if someone walked straight through the sidewalk and did not notice the part of the drain or walked along the sidewalk in the dark, there was a possibility that he would easily fall into the drain.
A wheel guard barrier of only 2 feet high and 1 foot wide in front of the drain due to the demolition of the dustbin was doing its job as a protection and connecting the two parts of the sidewalk but it was not enough for the sidewalk. While walking on the footpath, one had to face the drain and walk down the footpath to the road or walk over the guard barrier if it was 1 foot wide, which was extremely dangerous. It is said that the girl slipped and fell into the drain while walking over the wheel guard barrier.
The canal is approximately 11 feet wide and 10 feet deep; As it is located next to the road and there is a box culvert at the road side of this canal, the authorities needed to be more aware to prevent accidents and it was necessary for the Chittagong Development Authority to create a safety fence through the high walls adjacent to the canal.
Although the Chittagong Development Authority termed the incident as an accident, it appears that the incident took place because the necessary safety measures were not taken at that place considering the location of the drain and the flow of water. As Agrabad is located near Badamtal Junction, the footpath of Sheikh Mujib Road is frequented by many people every day and the drain adjacent to the road meets the box culvert under the road, so the drain should be protected while demolishing the previous dustbin so that no one can easily fall into the drain and enter the box culvert. Chittagong Development Authority was responsible.
Besides, it is the responsibility of the Chittagong City Corporation to draw the attention of all concerned to ensure overall safety of the citizens and it was necessary to ensure security at the place through regular supervision. After all, considering the location, flow and potential hazards of the drain, the Chittagong Development Authority could have avoided the accident described by renovating the top of the drain or protecting the front of the drain during the pavement renovation.
Lawyer of Law and Arbitration Center. Shahinuzzaman said, the court has registered the report after submission. Later the court will order in this regard.
Bangladesh Time: 1735 hours, September 04, 2022