I don’t know if it were the Gods of Serendipity who conspired to do this but one day, the 26th of April, 2009, my phone started ringing at 6 am in the morning. Now, wondering who would be calling at this ungodly hour, I got up from bed to answer the phone. It was my friend Vinny who was going out for his daily run around the Jayamahal park and wanted to know if I’d want to tag along. I don’t know what had gotten into me or if I was just dreaming, half-asleep, but I said, Yes, got up from bed swiftly, got into my running attire and was ready in no time. My friend came along to pick me up and I went along to run with him.
After the first day’s running and stretching, had felt really rejuvenated and wanted to continue and make this a daily ritual. To my own surprise, I was able to keep up with this routine and had continued running for a couple of weeks until that fateful day of 12th May, 2011. I had completed my first run around the Jayamahal park, enthusiastically, ahead of my friend. I looked back and saw my friend at a distance approaching me quite slowly. I noticed the beautiful pond inside the park through the grilled compound. Now, in hindsight I think "Why did I do it?". I wanted to take a closer look and admire the pond’s beauty and stepped on to the footpath from the road.
That’s it! The footpath was made out of moulded concrete slabs covering the rainwater drain beneath it. I would have hardly stood on one of the slabs for a few seconds and it broke in the middle in half, taking me into the gutter beneath, with it. All this happened so quickly that I could hardly get a hold of the compound grill of the park to prevent me from falling in.
While the slab was falling in, it scraped both my ankles and when I landed at the base of the drain quicker than the broken slab, it had jammed my ankles. I wasn’t able to move. Then my friend who had now reached closer to me took a while to come to terms with what had just happened and once reality struck him, came running towards me to help me out.
In the meanwhile, I nudged out my jammed ankles from beneath the concrete pieces of the slab and had freed myself. My friend pulled me out and I wasn’t able to walk. I had badly injured my ankles and any stretching of it caused terrible pain, but luckily I hadn’t broken any bones or torn any ligaments. The injuries were superficial albeit painful.
My immediate reaction to this incident was "What if it were a small kid?". It could have been disastrous! If the slab had, for example, fallen on the head of a small child, it could have been fatal! To top it all, the gutter is almost 2 feet or more deep. Nobody except my friend noticed my plight that day. If it were a kid trapped under the broken slab inside the gutter, there is a very high probablity that it could have gone unnoticed for hours and it could have been too late before help arrived. Now, THAT is scary! Isn’t it?
BBMP’s shoddy work and low quality slabs caused this to me. I would like some justice done with the persons responsible. Even some of the other slabs (not yet broken) have developed large cracks in them and it is only a matter of time before anyone else falls the same way.
It seems the project to repair the drains outside this park was done not too long ago according to BBMP’s own site: Project work details.
The project manager and others involved in this project must be brought to task. God knows what percentage of the project cost was swallowed by officials.
This injury had me spending on medication which I wasn’t planning for. And besides, I am still not completely healed. There’s still slight numbness and pain even after two weeks. BBMP should pay for all the pain, agony and suffering caused by their apathy!