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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

2 years since doctor’s death, drains only got mesh wires

In an incident reminiscent of Dr Amrapurkar’s passing, 18-month-old Divyansh Singh fell into an open drain on Wednesday. At present, the BMC does not have a policy to cover open drains in the city.

mumbai Updated: Jul 13, 2019 00:50 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Spot of manhole, where Dr Deepak Amrapurkar fell into in recent rain deluge in Mumbai on Friday, September 1, 2017.
Spot of manhole, where Dr Deepak Amrapurkar fell into in recent rain deluge in Mumbai on Friday, September 1, 2017. ((Photo by Bhushan Koyande/ Hindustan Times))
         

Almost two years after Dr Deepak Amrapurkar fell into an open manhole and died in August 2017, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to implement all the suggestions made by a panel to prevent such accidents in the future.

Appointed by BMC, the panel had submitted a 36-page report with multiple suggestions, of which installing mesh wires under manhole covers is the only one which was implemented.

Additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal, in charge of the stormwater drains department, said, “The main purpose of the recommendations was to prevent future accidents and protect pedestrians during rains. Since we are installing mesh wires under the manhole covers, it serves the purpose that the other two recommendations would serve.” So far, the BMC has spent ₹2.56 crore on installing 2,933 mesh wires under manholes covers. The panel’s other recommendations include radio frequency identification (RFID)-tagging manhole covers, so that the BMC is updated every time a cover is removed or displaced; and installing hinge covers that cannot be completely removed. It had also suggested residents who see open manholes complain to the BMC immediately.

A senior civic official said, “We have not yet inspected the feasibility of tagging manhole covers with RFIDs. We have not started installing hinge covers. The maximum focus has been on installing mesh wires under the manhole covers. In June, BMC wrote to all wards to identify manholes that still need mesh wires installed.” The maximum number of manholes with mesh covers are in Bandra (West), Khar, Santacruz, Vileparle, Andheri (East) in the western suburbs; Kurla and Bhandup in the eastern suburbs; and Lower Parel and Elphinstone Road, Worli, Dadar, Byculla, and Wadala in the island city.

In an incident reminiscent of Dr Amrapurkar’s passing, 18-month-old Divyansh Singh fell into an open drain on Wednesday. At present, the BMC does not have a policy to cover open drains in the city.

Recently, it briefly introduced a proposal to cover drains, but this was done to discourage locals from throwing garbage in nullahs.