After Dr Amrapurkar’s death, BMC inspects 5,000 manholes in central Mumbai
Dr Deepak Amrapurkar drowned in an open manhole near Elphinstone Road during the August 29 deluge
In less than a month after gastroenterologist Dr Deepak Amrapurkar drowned in an open manhole near Elphinstone Road during the August 29 deluge, BMC’s F-south ward inspected 80% of the 5,175 manhole in the ward’s jurisdiction — including Elphinstone, Parel, Lalbaug, and Dadar areas.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) found about seven to 10 manholes partially open, as the covers were slightly displaced. None of the covers of the inspected manholes were missing, said Vishwas Mote, assistant commissioner of the F-south ward.
A team of 15 officials scanned every major, minor, and arterial road in this ward and noted all manhole covers on each road. If any manhole was found to be missing its cover, the team was directed to replace it right away. More said, “We don’t leave an open manhole unattended, and as soon as we noticed the cover to be broken or shifted from its socket, we replaced it with a concrete one and seal it. This is an on-going process.”
This time, the BMC has undertaken an organised exercise to inspect every manhole and make an inventory of it. Officials in the inspection team noted the number of manholes on any stretch. Officials also kept a tab on which manhole covers had to be replaced.
According to officials, the exercise is nearly over and will be completed by the end of this week. It was started two weeks ago.
A civic official said, “Even though we continuously cover manholes if the covers are broken or missing, a manual inspection of all manholes was the surest way to avoid an untoward incident.”
The BMC had faced a lot of flak following Dr Amarapurkar’s death, who fell into an open manhole in the deluge of August 29. A detailed inquiry ordered by Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta blamed local residents, who allegedly opened the manhole cover thinking it would drain the water faster.
The BMC now plans to standardise manhole covers so they can be easily available for replacement in case any go missing. The civic body had called for suggestions to design these manhole covers recently, but did not receive satisfactory responses.