Mumbai civic body to fit city's manholes with new covers

Updated: Oct 30, 2017, 19:26 IST | Laxman Singh | Mumbai

The death of prominent gastroenterologist Dr Deepak Amarapurkar in an open manhole in August has got the Mumbai civic body in damage control mode

The death of prominent gastroenterologist Dr Deepak Amarapurkar in an open manhole in August has got the civic body in damage control mode. The fact-finding committee formed to ascertain the reason for the death and measures to prevent such incidents had made several suggestions for new covers such as a bucket fashioned out of iron rods under the manhole covers and a mesh or grill cover that will help clear the rain water but prevent people from falling into it.

The open manhole in which Dr Deepak Amarapurkar fell into and drowned during the deluge in AugustThe open manhole in which Dr Deepak Amarapurkar fell into and drowned during the deluge in August

Following suggestions from the committee, the civic body's Sewerage Operation (SO) department will be trying out new mesh covers for manholes. After discussions, SO officials have decided to first conduct a study of areas that are flood prone and find out the exact number of manholes in those areas.

A senior civic official said, "The sewerage manholes are supposed to only be for sewage; for rainwater, storm water drains have been constructed. But, during flooding, sewerage manholes too are kept open to help drain out the water faster. We are planning to first conduct a detailed study of all such flood-prone locations."

After the study, the department will install the new covers on a priority basis. Chief engineer, SO department, Ashok Ymagar, said, "It is commonly observed that in flood-prone areas, manhole covers are immediately taken off when water levels rise. In order to prevent incidents such as the one in which the doctor died in August, we will fit the manholes with new covers."

The civic body had also invited suggestions from citizens to create better manhole covers.

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