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Deathtraps ahead

india Updated: Aug 19, 2006 00:14 IST

BEWARE! THERE are about 1,000 deathtraps on the city roads. And if lid stealers continue to get away with their booty, the city shall soon have 40,000 open manholes!

But, the Jal Sansthan is unable to keep the lid on every manhole because of recurring thefts. The officials say there are about 40,000 manholes in the city officials of Jal Sansthan.

“During my term, the Sansthan had filed over 1,000 FIRs against lid thieves. But, we haven’t had any success so far,” says former Jal Sansthan GM RK Tripathi.

“Of course, we need police support. But, the beat cop doesn’t give lid thefts that much importance despite the fact that they pose serious threat to life,” he says.

Not only manholes, but pits dug up by mobile companies are equally fatal.
An executive with the private company Ajay, “My car got stuck in the manhole in front of Shakti Bhavan during a rainy night. Later on I came to know that it was an open pit left uncovered by a private mobile company. I had to spend Rs 3,800 to get my car out and repaired.”

“We lose Rs 5 to Rs 10 lakh per annum in the form of lid thefts. We have written several letters to the SSP and DM to keep a strict watch on the thieves, who are mostly drug addicts. But, in vain,” says Tripathi.

The thieves mostly target manhole covers in the posh colonies as they find it easy to perform the job in the lonely places, where people ignore small activities.

“Moreover recently some thieves have started stealing the  GI pipe from the India Mark II handpumps. They come in the dress of Jal Sansthan workers and perform their job with perfection,” says Tripathi.

According to sources the thieves have stoles pipe worth lakhs of rupees in last six months from the hand pumps.