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Stolen manhole covers raise a stink near Eastern Express Highway

Residents of Chembur are enduring a foul smell every day, thanks to the open drains on a footpath next to the Amar Mahal flyover; all complaints to the concerned authorities have been unanswered

Residents near the Amar Mahal flyover in Chembur have to wake up and walk around foul-smelling streets every day.

The open drains make it difficult for pedestrians to walk on the footpath, and also pose a health risk, as mosquitoes breed in the gutters. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The open drains make it difficult for pedestrians to walk on the footpath, and also pose a health risk, as mosquitoes breed in the gutters. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

All because manhole covers of the drains on the footpath have been stolen. The concerned footpath is along a service road on the Eastern Express Highway; this portion is near Chheda Nagar in Chembur, where the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road ends. Locals say the drains have been lying open for the past one month, after some miscreants stole the slabs.

Besides reducing the walking space on the footpath, the nullah that runs underneath also emanates an unbearable stink. On top of this, the dirt and garbage collected from cleaning the SCLR and Eastern Express Highway is dumped into the nullah that passes from under these open drains.

Authorities say
Officials at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) claim the responsibility lies with the Public Works Department (PWD), since the nullah is under their jurisdiction.

Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant municipal commissioner, M/West ward, said, “This road is not with us; it’s under the PWD. We have written to them to ask them to take care of the problem, as we received some residents’ complaints. We will send a reminder on the same.”

PWD’s executive engineer, Ramesh Aagavne, told this paper, “Some manhole covers had gone missing, while some were very old and broken, which ultimately went missing, too.

We are aware of the problem and will fix it soon. We will also take action against the people throwing debris and garbage here, as this troubles us more while cleaning the nullah.”

Resident speak
In spite of several complaints, the gutters are still open. There is very little scope for pedestrians to walk on the footpaths because of the open drains. And we can’t walk beside the road because it’s a highway. - Dr Vijay Sangole, a resident of the area

>> 18 manhole covers missing from the footpath next to a service road on the highway 
>> Mosquitoes breeding in the gutters may cause diseases, say residents 
>> Officials say they will start work soon

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