Around 400 manhole covers have been stolen between January and July, prompting the BMC to register 50 first information reports (FIR) in the seven-month period. On an average, 57 thefts were reported in a month. The data assumes further significance as the HC has time and again rapped the civic body for failing to cover open manholes, which become gaping death traps during monsoon.
The manhole covers made of cast iron get stolen frequently since they fetch a good price, ranging from Rs3,000-Rs5,000 in the grey market for petty thieves and drug addicts, argued a civic official. As per civic data, 836 manhole covers were stolen in 2022, which was the highest in the past four years.
The BMC swung into action mode from June when it started reporting cases of manhole cover thefts to the police. The municipal corporation also warned scrap dealers about strong action against them if they purchase stolen covers. “However, the complaints are registered mostly against unknown persons, who are rarely nabbed by the police,” said a senior civic official.
Covers stolen in past years