Mira-Bhayandar: Confronted with a distressing surge in cases involving thefts of manhole covers containing iron bars within cement frames, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has initiated the installation of lids crafted from Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) to replace the conventional reinforced cement concrete (RCC) and iron covers. Municipal records indicate the presence of approximately 14,000 manholes in the twin-city.
Yet, the widespread theft of drain covers across various areas within the twin-city has not only raised concerns for the civic administration, but has also jeopardized the safety of pedestrians and motorists by posing the threat of accidents. Broken or lidless manholes on pavements transform into hazardous gaps that have claimed the lives of multiple pedestrians in the twin-city.
FRP lid | FPJ
Enhanced Longevity of FRP Lid Covers
Despite the higher cost of FRP covers in comparison to regular cement concrete lids reinforced with iron bars, the former boasts an extended lifespan and increased strength to endure heavy loads. Furthermore, FRP covers lack recycling and resale value, effectively deterring theft by necessitating a one-time investment.
City Engineer Deepak Khambit remarked, "Rather than continually expending funds on standard lids, we have begun implementing FRP lids to secure open or damaged manholes, installing them on newly constructed pavements. Over time, conventional lids will be gradually phased out. This approach ensures greater durability and eliminates the problem of thefts that have plagued us in the past."
Theft Incidents Captured on CCTV
Instances have arisen where thieves were caught on closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras employing gas cutters to sever and lift iron manhole lids within the twin-city. In addition to thefts, RCC covers are susceptible to frequent damage, particularly during the monsoon season when wet covers are prone to breakage.