Man dies after falling into open drainage manhole

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Oct 28, 2018-

Thirty-seven-year-old yoga instructor Shyam Shrestha led a disciplined life. The Chagal resident never drank alcohol or puffed a cigarette in his lifetime. The virtuous man’s decision to go cycling for fresh air on Friday tragically proved fatal. He died a horrible death when his cycle fell into an open drain in Kirtipur.

Ironically, the freelance yoga teacher died near an educational institution. The incident happened on the main road near the main gate of Tribhuvan University.

Life is often cruel to good people. Goddess of knowledge Saraswati must have wept as much as his sister Subhadra Shrestha did on hearing the sad news.“Shyam went to Chobahar in the evening to get fresh air,” the heartbroken sister Subhadra told the Post. “I rue his decision to go outdoors. He never smoked or drank alcohol. He gave lectures on good lifestyle and taught many people yoga to lead a healthy life. He was a good man. I am shattered. Why should anyone die like this? We do not know what to do. The government’s negligence to look after its citizens has taken my brother’s life. His body has a big wound on the forehead.”

Police found Shyam Shrestha’s body on Saturday morning, floating in three feet dirt water along with his bicycle after a pedestrian informed the police.Kirtipur Police Station Deputy Inspector of Police Anil Kumar Khadga said, “The pit size is 11x11 feet and 5.5 feet deep with around three feet high dirt water. We saw his bicycle floating on his body.”

Shyam’s body is at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital for postmortem.

Nepal Cycle Society’s Ratna Shrestha criticized the government for its civic negligence on his Facebook page. “This is not an accident. It is murder by the State. We will file a case against the chief of government officials who did not work to manage the open drain,” Shrestha wrote on his facebook wall.

Talking to the Post Shail Shrestha, founder and past president of Kathmandu Cycle City (KCC) 2020 said this incident is an extreme example of how unsafe Kathmandu City is for cyclists in terms of roads condition, air pollution, and threat of large vehicles.“This is a very sad and demoralizing incident for those who are promoting cycling to sustain

Nepal’s environment. This tragic incident happened because of the sheer negligence of the government. We will protest and raise our voice against it,” said Shrestha.

Shrestha expressed grief and condolences to the family of the deceased on behalf of KCC and all other cyclists.

The group had organised a tribute to top conservationist and pioneer of wildlife biologist Dr Prahlad Yonzon, a cyclist who died in road accident in Kathmandu on October 31, 2011.

The condition of roads in Kathmandu continues to remain deplorable. There are numerous potholes and drains along sides of the roads are open at many places. These are death traps for pedestrians, cyclists, scooter and motorcycle riders. These open drains are a disaster waiting to happen, particularly at night.

In July 2017, Binita Phuyal, 12, a pupil perished after drain water current swept her away in Tarkeshwar Municipality. Another teenage schoolgirl survived by divine providence after she too was swept by drain water in the metropolis during heavy rain last year.

Published: 28-10-2018 10:07

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