Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to file a fresh affidavit spelling out the status on tenders floated for installing protective grilles under the manholes. The HC has also asked the civic body to ensure that there is no repeat of the tragic incident of people dying after slipping into open manholes.
A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Federation Of Retail Traders Welfare Association, highlighting the tragic death of city’s renowned gastroenterologist Dr Deepak Amrapurkar. who died last year after slipping into an open manhole near Elphinstone road.
Earlier, BMC informed the judges that they had floated tenders for putting iron grilles, just below the manhole openings. This, the civic body had claimed, would ensure no mishap or casualty can occur, even if the manhole is left open. However, on Tuesday the counsel appearing for BMC was not in a position to inform judges of the current status of the tenders and instead sought an adjournment.
Having heard the submission, the bench said, “We want BMC to file a fresh affidavit regarding the status of the tenders. We want to know if BMC has started putting protective grilles under the manholes and if so, we want the data.” Meanwhile, advocate Ashish Mehta appearing for the counsels informed judges of the case of a toddler who died last week, after slipping into an open gutter. The judges said, “Monsoon has arrived and hence the authorities must take into account such incidents. The civic body must not take this litigation in an adverse manner. Instead, you must ensure that such incidents are not repeated.” The judges posted the matter for further hearing on June 21.