Hyderabad: More than 130 deadly manholes located on main roads pose a grave threat to citizens. These manholes would become “invisible” even after light rainfall. Some of the manholes are located close to nalas, and there will be little time to help anyone who falls into one.
Despite the grave danger, the civic body has not managed to at least instal cautionary signboards to caution motorists and pedestrians of the location of the manholes.
The corporation instead is focusing on placing emergency vehicles at nearby locations to pump out water in case there is stagnation following rain.
In 2011, the Lokayukta, had issued notices to the GHMC to instal grills at all manholes in the twin cities. The idea was that even if someone fell into a manhole, he or she would be restrained by the grill and not get washed away in the water.
This came on a petition filed against the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation for negligence which led to the death of a woman who fell in an open manhole.
Following this, the GHMC had allocated a special budget to modernise the manholes. However, neither were the grills installed nor, apparently, has the attitude of the corporation towards the issue changed.
Sources said the GHMC had received several requests from road-users to place warning boards to alert motorists and pedestrians to the location of such manholes. Private agencies that have been carrying out desiltation works have been neither setting up warning boards nor closing the manholes properly after the completion of work.
Reports of such negligence of the corporation has even been taken to the State Human Rights Commission. In one incident, a woman fell into an open manhole in Secunderabad after she got down from her husband’s motorcycle in a heavy downpour.
The complaint filed regarding the incident with the State Human Rights Commission stated that the manhole was opened by some unidentified persons so that the storm water could flow away.
Asked about the dangers posed by these manholes, a senior official said the GHMC had done a survey and found out that there were 132 deadly manholes. He said the corporation would instal warning board and two corporation officials, including an executive engineer, will monitor the manholes.
The official said that private agencies had been asked to set up warning signs while taking up desilting works. If they did not do so, the corporation would initiate stringent action and not hesitate to blacklist them.
The official said that the corporation manholes were only 3.5-foot deep and could not claim a life. He said the manholes leading to nalas had the potential to cause deaths....