There is no dearth of manholes in the City. And if these are left open, the consequences can be a nightmare.
But Bangaloreans have to live this nightmare on a regular basis as the authorities sometimes dig these up and take a number of days to finish the work.
Even the ones that are closed are partially open and could prove to be dangerous.Jenitha, who lives in Raja Ram Mohan Roy Extension, says the area is full of manholes with some of them left open many a time! “The authorities recently started tarring the road that goes towards Mission Road. So hopefully, they will fix all the roads and the manholes. But the problem is even though they tar the roads, the drainage in the area is really poor.
So most of the manholes are overflowing with dirty sewage water,” she says. “A major problem is that drain water from Kanteerava Stadium comes this side. So there is a lot of stagnant water on the roads. In case of a heavy rain, you can expect water-logged roads for three to four hours. Besides, even if they dig something out, they don’t put it back. It’s really hard especially for people living in the small houses and the slum-dwellers in the area,” she adds.
An employee of Purvankara, Kishan commutes through the Central Business District regularly. “This area is full of manholes. It’s frightful to go near a dug-up manhole especially when you are travelling on a two-wheeler. You could get seriously injured. Personally, I have had cars and buses splashing dirty water on me thanks to the overflowing water from the manholes. You can’t even blame them as they aren’t able to spot it. We expect the authorities to do basic thing like cover up a manhole soon when they dig it up. They can’t put people’s lives in danger,” he notes.
Steven, a student of St Joseph’s College of Business Administration, feels that the authorities must at least warn the people in advance before digging up a manhole. “I passed a manhole recently on Andree Street near Double Road which was left open by the authorities and had water splashing on me from all sides. The authorities can’t just dig up a road like that. They should at least inform the residents at least a week in advance. But the problem is they just keep doing whatever they feel like. If it rains, the situation becomes worse,” he complains.
The authorities say they are pressed for time when a manhole suddenly collapses. Says T Venkatraju, Chief Engineer, BWSSB, “Due to the movement of heavy vehicles, a number of manholes collapse. In such a situation, we immediately go the area to repair it and finish the work in seven days. Identifying which area the manhole is in and levelling it takes a minimum of that much time.”
He adds, “Many of these are not really manholes. They are called the jacking and receiving pits with drenchless technology thanks to the pipelines underneath. Even if the work is going on inside them, the public doesn’t know. The jacking pits take more time to be finished as they are wider in diameter.”