Published on: 24 November 2022 at 16:48 IST
The Bombay HC took note of open manholes in the city terming them as “death traps”, and directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to cover these up immediately.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja criticised the government for open manholes at the side of the road in Mumbai and surrounding municipal corporations “All of these are death traps. Although one may not pass away, one may fracture.”
A suit for contempt against the government for maintaining pothole-filled roadways was considered by the Bombay High Court.
The problem of open manholes, which has surfaced since the monsoon, poses an equal threat to citizens’ lives.
Ruju Thakkar, a lawyer who filed the case, noted that there are more than 300 open manholes on both sides of the Eastern Express Highway service road.
She claimed that despite the fact that the authorities have received several complaints, not a single manhole has been covered. Thakkar based her submission on a few media reports.
Chief Justice Datta questioned counsel Anil Sakhare, who was representing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), regarding the veracity of Thakkar’s assertion that 300 open manholes existed.
The bench informed the BMC that they need a compliance report regarding the 300 open manholes being covered by November 28 while Sakhare promised the court that the authorities would look into the matter.
The bench emphasised that the corporation should be prepared to face the court’s wrath if compliance is not carried out.
The Corporation was reminded by the court that it had provided a list of Mumbai’s 20 worst roads and that the potholes on those roads needed to be filled in.
The time for the same expires on December 1, Thakkar informed the bench. According to Sakhare, the procedure was already in motion.
The court stated that it had been reported in the media that bids for the concretization of roads in Mumbai had been offered, but that the procedure had been unable to be completed.
The Vasai Virar Corporation’s lawyer, Swati Sagwekar, stated that there are just a few open manholes in the vicinity, and they are all less than three feet deep. So three foot open manholes are not death traps, the Chief Justice Dipankar Datta stated at this point.
On December 1, the court will resume hearing the matter.