February 4, 2009 12:10:29 am
The civic body is bound to ensure all manholes are covered as it collects sewerage tax,says forum
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to a retired deputy inspector general of the Border Security Force (BSF) who had fallen into an open manhole last year. The forum observed that since the MC collected sewerage tax,it was bound to maintain the manholes.
On August 23,2008,Sector-33 resident Ravinder Singh (71) said,he had gone to the Sector-34 market along with his wife to fetch grocery around 8 pm.
It was raining heavily and when he got out of his car and moved towards a shop,he fell into an open manhole.
Ravinder said he fell unconscious inside the manhole. After his wife raised the alarm,the passers-by pulled out an injured Ravinder and rushed him to hospital.
Ravinder told the forum that he could not see the open manhole because the roads were submerged under water.
In its reply,the corporation,however,said the manholes cover had been removed by the shopkeep-ers to make way for the rainwater. It claimed that there was no lapse on its part.
After hearing both the parties,the forum observed that the MC was negligent. It is not the only incident. We regularly see uncovered manholes becoming virtual death traps for human beings and animals. The MC does not take any remedial measures. Therefore,they are liable to pay penalty, the forum held.
It directed the MC to pay Rs 1 lakh to the complainant and said the money could be recovered from the officers concerned after giving them enough opportunity to plead their side.
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