Yawning manholes pose grave danger in Mira Road

Mira-Bhayandar: Fatal mishaps in and around the twin-city, including the recent death of a 37-year-old painter who slipped into an open manhole in the Sheetal Nagar area of Mira Road on Friday, has failed to instil sense in the minds of the officials in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) as scores of yawning manholes continue to pose a grave danger to the lives and limbs of citizens.

There are around 14,000 manholes in the twin-city, however, some of them are either lidless or have broken covers. Despite witnessing a number of accidental deaths involving open and broken manholes in the twin-city, the civic administration and private contractors seem to be doing precious little to seal these yawning death traps.

Meanwhile, the Mira Road police have sought details of the contractor and specifications in context to the scope of work for the day-to-day supervision and keeping track of the lids on manholes."We are awaiting details from the MBMC, following which necessary action will be taken against those found responsible for negligence," said Senior Police Inspector Sandip Kadam.

An influential contractor identified as Bhavesh and an unnamed municipal official have been booked under section 304 (a) of the IPC for causing death due to negligence. ”Yes, we are in receipt of a letter from the police seeking clarification. While a reply will be given soon, instructions have been passed to check and rectify any lidless or broken cover manholes across the twin-city,” confirmed a senior municipal officer requesting anonymity.

Surprisingly, the blame game has already begun. While MBMC’s Public Works Department (PWD) claims to be handling just the construction part, it maintains that the onus of day-to-day supervision and keeping track of the lids on manholes rests on the shoulders of the concerned ward officer and the sanitary inspector.

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