A three-year-old boy fell into a storm water drain at Ambedkar Chowk in Mumbai's Malad on Wednesday night and a search operation is currently underway, a civic official said on Thursday.
The incident prompted the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress to hit out at the Shiv Sena-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and seek action against the civic officials concerned.
"The incident took place around 10 pm on Wednesday. The boy, identified as Divyansh, was strolling outside his house when he fell into the drain near Goregaon-Malad Link road," the official of the Disaster Management Unit of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said.
"When the boy's mother could not find him, she panicked and raised an alarm. The footage of the CCTV camera installed near the building was checked, in which he was seen falling into the drain," he said.
A search and rescue operation was immediately launched. However, the rescue team has not been able to find the boy so far.
Due to the heavy flow of water in the drainage, the boy is feared to have been washed away, the official said.
Hitting out at the BMC, NCP chief spokesman Nawab Malik said the incidents were taking place due to the "negligence" of the civic body.
He demanded that a case be registered against the guilty concerned under IPC section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
"A case should be registered against the guilty officials concerned under section 304 of the IPC...plastic manhole cover used by the BMC get washed away. Such incidents are taking place due to the negligence of the corporation," Malik said.
Another senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar also held the BMC responsible for the incident, while its Maharashtra unit chief Jayant Patil asked the civic body whether the value of human life has reduced to "zero".
Patil also asked why the ruling party (Shiv Sena) doesn't pay attention towards such incidents seriously.
The Congress demanded that an offence be registered against the BMC.
"Twelve hours have passed, but the civic officials and the fire brigade have not been able to trace the child. Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was not even aware of the tragic incident," Charan Singh Sapra, Mumbai ongress vice president said.
The civic body has time and again faced flak for not covering manholes and drainages properly, which had led to deaths or accidents in the past.
In August 2017, Dr Deepak Amarapurkar, a well-known gastroenterologist, died after falling into an open manhole while walking down a flooded street in south Mumbai during the heavy downpour. The BMC had later claimed that some local residents had removed the lid of the manhole illegally.