Just Rs 999: 1-year pack + offers

Journalism of Courage
Advertisement

Officials will be held responsible for death due to open manholes: Bombay HC warns BMC

Calling open manholes in Mumbai “death traps”, the High Court had on November 28 directed the BMC to take immediate steps to cover the open manholes.

The bench asked the BMC to consult expert professionals and find solutions for open manholes and inform the court about the same. (File photo)
Listen to this article Your browser does not support the audio element.

The Bombay High Court Wednesday warned the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that if someone dies due to open manholes in Mumbai, the officials of the civic body will be held responsible. After the BMC counsel told the bench that the civic body is addressing the issue on a “war footing basis” and ensuring all manholes are covered, the bench appreciated the efforts.

Calling open manholes in Mumbai “death traps”, the High Court had on November 28 directed the BMC to take immediate steps to cover the open manholes. The bench said that if someone falls into a manhole and dies, the aggrieved persons could not be asked to seek compensation through a civil suit and the officers will be put to notice and can be held responsible.

Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja were hearing a contempt petition filed by lawyer Ruju Thakker, alleging that the BMC had failed to implement the High Court orders of February and April 2018, which directed potholes on all arterial roads to be repaired and a uniform mechanism to be set up to redress residents’ grievances pertaining to bad roads.

Senior advocate Anil Sakhare representing BMC submitted that the officials come to know about open manholes while cleaning the roads or based on complaints by citizens. The bench further questioned, “In this day of modern technology, why don’t you device something that if someone touches a manhole cover, tampers with the cover, you get to know immediately in your office? Why not something like a sensor?” the bench asked.

Subscriber Only Stories

It also asked the BMC counsel if the civic body maintains log books for cleaning drains during rains and what is the frequency of the periodical inspections. Sakhare said that record of desilting is maintained by the BMC and it tries to clean the drains before the monsoon season every year.

The bench then asked the BMC to consult expert professionals and find solutions for open manholes and inform the court about the same.

It said that the civic bodies are required to have a standard operating procedure (SoP) to address issues of manhole covers and maybe have iron grills below manhole covers.

Advertisement

“Solution has to be provided by you. What should be the appropriate solution for this, you tell us. We need permanent measures. You must do some progressive thinking. It is your job. We cannot keep saying what needs to be done,” the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing to December 19.

First published on: 07-12-2022 at 17:18 IST
Next Story

DJ Khaled posts video of getting a haircut in the middle of a desert in Saudi Arabia

Home
ePaper
Next Story
close
X