Updated: June 10, 2021 9:42:02 pm
A day after a video of two women slipping into an open manhole in Bhandup area surfaced on social media, municipal commissioner IS Chahal directed the Storm Water Drains department to survey all the manholes on the city roads and replace the ones damaged on a war footing.
The CCTV footage showed the women, one after the other, falling into the manhole at Village Road in the eastern suburb of Bhandup and narrowly escaping being washed away when heavy rains pounded the city on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) replaced the damaged manhole cover.
As part of pre-monsoon exercise, each of the 24-ward offices in Mumbai is required to inspect all manholes and replace lids wherever necessary.
Last year, a 32-year-old woman, identified as Sheetal Dama, had died after falling into a manhole near Global Hospital in Ghatkopar (East). Two days later, Dama’s body was recovered 22 km away at Haji Ali in Worli.
In July 2019, following heavy rain, a one-and-a-half-year-old boy, Divyansh Singh, had died after falling into an open drain. The same year, another boy, Sumit Jaiswar, 7, died in a similar manner in Dharavi. In Worli, a man identified as Babu Kumar Paswan had drowned after falling into a pit that was filled with water.
Reacting to Wednesday’s incident, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Manoj Kotak said, “The richest civic body of India — BMC — is incapable of keeping manholes unclogged and sewerage (system) clean. The Mumbaikars are devoid of the basic right of cleanliness and now the incompetence is proving fatal. The video of two women falling in open manhole at Bhandup enrages me to the core.”
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