The Municipal Corporation’s inefficiency in covering manholes is going to cost it dear.
Less than a year after a senior citizen sustained serious injuries after he fell into an open manhole in Sector 34 in Chandigarh, the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum on Tuesday held the civic body guilty of negligence. It has directed the MC to pay Rs 1 lakh to Ravinder Lal, 71, within a month. The forum said the MC could recover the amount from officials responsible for maintaining the gutter.
Forum president Jagroop Singh Mahal and members Dr Madhu Behl and Siddheshwar Sharma said the matter was grievous and the manner in which MC and its employees had neglected to maintain and cover the gutters was a source of danger to residents.
Ravinder Lal, in his complaint, said he had gone to Sector 34 market along with his wife on a rainy day in August. When he started moving towards the shops, he suddenly fell into an open gutter. His wife raised the alarm and passers-by pulled him out in a semiconscious condition. In a state of shock, Ravinder Lal was rushed to a hospital. Inquired revealed the manhole was open for the past many days.
The MC counsel had claimed the manhole was covered but due to heavy rains the market association people had probably removed the cover.
The forum said no cover was found nearby and no evidence suggested it had been removed.