Just outside popular hotel HK Clarks Inn in posh Ranjeet Avenue locality, a manhole is open for the past one week, and when HT informed the authorities, they parked a water tanker over it on the eighth day.
The manhole is in the middle of the road and was earlier marked with a small plant and a few bricks around. Best Western Merrion is another hotel opposite it. Both Merrion and Clarks receive guests from across the world and they all must have noticed the open danger. At night, the risk is increased, now with a water tanker also on the spot.
A day before the tanker was parked, the authorities at Clarks said it had been three days since they had lodged a complaint with the Amritsar improvement trust but no one had turned up to close it. "It's a clear danger to traffic and a source of embarrassment to us when guests observe it," said Vandana, manager of Merrion.
When it was brought to the notice of municipal commissioner he said DPS Kharbhanda said he had decided on joining to deal with the manhole and pothole menaces seriously. "I will take urgent action," he said. Next day, the water tanker was parked to cover the hole.
One of the NRI guests outside one of the hotels who disappointed at the scene. "The government servants at any level in India are not duty conscious. They just keep themselves busy in seminars and conferences," he said. "They will close the hole the day a major accident happens" said auto-rickshaw driver Chitresh Singh, waiting outside the hotel to pick up guests.
"Deep potholes and open manholes are everywhere and stay like that for days. The people of my locality, Brahm Nagar near Lawrence Road, have reported the problem over telephone many times, but the authorities concerned never pay heed," said Aanchal Sachdeva, a human resource executive.
The improvement trust and municipal corporation have taken no lesson from the accident last year when interior designer Kanika Chugh, 27, fell off her scooter outside Circuit House upon hitting a open manhole. "When she died in hospital, the authorities concerned promised to the media to cover all the sewers, manholes and potholes," said Dalbir Singh, a government employee. "They never meant it."