Residents worry over missing drainage lids in city, demand survey

02nd July, 2018

Thane: The missing or damaged lids over drainage lines and manholes in the city has become a cause of concern for residents who fear these unguarded gaping holes could invite human casualties during water logging and have called for immediate survey and action by the administration.

Several stretches of the city including those where civic works have recently wound up or is still in progress have damaged drain or manhole covers which pose great risk to unsuspecting pedestrians who could possibly fall into them especially when the roads are waterlogged during heavy rainfall. While last year’s Mumbai incident where a VJTI professor was swept is still fresh in mind, a bus driver from Palghar last week swept highlighting the importance of the issue.

Residents complained that several areas of the city including Saket, Gandhi Nagar, Naupada, Ghodbunder have manholes that have been either left open by civic contractor after completing their respective works ahead of the rains or the lids have been stolen by miscreants. Activists and residents claimed they have been pursuing the issue with the administration for long but to no impact and have questioned of the administration is waiting for a disaster to occur before acting.

A resident of Naupada says that walking down the MG road was becoming dangerous as the covers of the drains were either missing or damaged by passing vehicles that drove on the footpath due to lack of space on the road. Sanjeev Datta, a resident of Kharkar aali says the lids of many covers go missing frequently and needs to be probed. “The lids of many drains in our area go missing frequently. The lids do pose a grave danger to pedestrians but it seems like an underlying source of corruption. The corporation must investigate the expenditure on these lids in the last several years,” he said.

There are nearly 30,000 drain covers in the city and few of them randomly go missing frequently, allege residents. There is a manhole every 20m on footpaths on either sides of the roughly 300kms long road network in the city, inform officials. While some of the drain lids are made of fibre others are either of steel or iron.

Officials claimed they are alert to the situation and replacing lids as and when they come across any complaints. The damage to few lids, they claimed was due to corrosion caused by high volume of toxic gas underneath and also blamed miscreants who often stole the iron lids from several parts of the city for selling in the scrap.

“We are on our toes and are promptly replacing any damaged or missing lids that are brought to our notice. Recently, we have added an additional steel mesh layer under the existing 500 iron manhole lids especially in flooding-prone areas to ensure the gaps aren’t exposed when the lids slide open due to pressure during water logging,” said a senior official from the public works department of the Thane municipal corporation.


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