LAHORE - A four-year-old boy yesterday died after falling into a manhole in Shahdara, rescue workers said.

The victim was later identified as Almas. The child was playing in the street outside his house located in Nain Sukh near Suggian Bridge when he accidentally fell into an open manhole.

According to rescue workers, some locals managed to pull out the victim after hectic efforts and shifted him to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced as brought dead. The ill-fated mother lost her mental balance after witnessing the body of her child, according to rescuers.

Following the tragic incident, the residents staged a strong protest demonstration against the city district government stating that the tragedy took place because of the sheer negligence on part of the local administration.

They also chanted slogans against the provincial government for not paying heed to poor sanitary conditions in the suburb of Lahore. The protesters said that the authorities were informed about the open manholes but to no avail.

More than two dozen children died in similar incidents here in the Punjab capital during the last five years.

The government has failed to improve the sanitary system in many parts of the metropolis. In December 2014, a seven-year-old girl died after falling into a manhole in Kahna area. According to police, Ayesha Abbas, accidentally fell in the manhole when she was playing in the street. 

A two-year-old boy died after falling into a manhole in Journalist Housing Society Harbanspura in February 2014. Another boy of the same age, Zain, died after falling into an open manhole while plying in Sharifpura Mohalla of Baghbanpura on February 16.

In September 2013, a seven-year-old boy was found dead in Ghalib Market area. Some passersby spotted body of the boy, clad in school uniform, in the drain at Zafar Ali Road and alerted the police. A 12-year-old boy drowned in the drain located near Bund Road at Double-Sarkan Stop in July 2010.

Senators want sewer

problems solved

Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works Chairman Haji Muhammad Akram Ansari on called for details of cases of those involved in mismanagement and irregularities in the Punjab Works Department, APP reported.

Presiding over a meeting at Chamba House here, he directed the relevant authorities to submit details of the cases in the next meeting.

The chairman ordered solving electricity and sewerage problems of the residents of Wafaqi Colony on priority basis. He also directed the Pakistan Housing Authority Foundation to ensure restoration of electricity in "B and E" type flats.

Officials of the Works Department gave detailed briefing of its working to the committee. PHA Foundation also gave briefing to the committee about its project while the delegation of residents from Wafaqi Colony informed the committee about their problems.

Members of the committee Rajab Ali Khan Baloch, Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hassan, Rana Zahid Hussain Khan, Khalida Mansoor, Nighat Parveen Mir and others were also present.