Mumbai: The BMC has installed 5,792 protective grills over manholes, stormwater drains and sewerage networks across the city. These grills are meant to prevent people from falling into manholes even if they are left open during flooding. However, covers get stolen at many places as each fetched between Rs3,000 and Rs5,000.
Following the Bombay High Court’s order, the civic body has started repairing damaged manhole covers and replacing broken ones. Ward-level employees are monitoring the operations, a civic official said.
The HC on Tuesday directed the BMC to take immediate steps to cover open manholes that are becoming ‘death traps’ in Mumbai. The work has been underway for the past two years in a phased manner, the BMC said.
A civic official said that every year prior to the monsoon, a team inspects manholes, fixes the damaged one and installs nets to prevent any untoward incidents. He said, “We have also appealed to residents not to remove the covers in case of flooding in their areas. Sometimes during flooding, citizens open the lids to drain rainwater. At other times, they get stolen. There have been nearly 200 complaints of theft this year.”
Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects) P Velarasu said, “The BMC continually monitors the situation. We replace the missing and damaged manholes immediately. In
compliance with the HC’s order, we will place covers in all places where needed.” Assistant Commissioner (K-East; Jogeshwari, Andheri East) Manish Valanju said, “Fifteen FIRs have been registered in the last three to four months. The police are looking into the matter of thefts.”
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