Mumbai: To prevent mishaps like people falling into open manholes during monsoon, the BMC will now install newly-designed protective nets beneath manhole covers. Currently, protective nets made of ductile metal are installed inside 1,900 manholes. The civic engineers have now developed a prototype made from stainless steel that will last longer. The tender for the new nets will be invited soon after the design and cost are worked out, said the civic official. The installation is likely to be completed by next monsoon. Meanwhile, the BMC is also planning to install a device in 14 manholes that will send alerts to the civic centre as well as a siren will blow to alert locals if someone tries to open the covers.
Inspections carried out at place where manhole covers were stolen
“We conducted several inspections at the places where manhole covers were stolen. Also, various experiments were conducted to create more robust and reasonable protective nets with different types of metals like cast iron, mild steel and stainless steel. We noticed that those made from stainless steel have more durability,” said a senior civic official. Even if manhole covers get stolen, these protective nets will not be easy to remove. They will prevent citizens, animals and vehicles from falling into manholes, the official added.
Last month, the Bombay High Court slammed the BMC over open manholes and expressed concerns over the safety of pedestrians. The HC asked the civic body to use technology and come up with a permanent solution to the chronic problem. Meanwhile, the civic body has appealed to the citizens not to open the cover of manholes and complain to the civic control room if they find lids stolen. The civic authorities have also warned the scrap dealers that legal action will be taken against them if they buy stolen covers.