Ahead of the arrival of southwest monsoon, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has discovered over 100 open manholes in the financial capital of Mumbai.
The AAP-Mumbai leadership has asked the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to fix these on an urgent basis.
Over the past few years, several accidents have been reported in Mumbai during the rainy season because of open manholes and open drains.
The AAP has described these as nothing but death traps.
It may be recalled that in 2017, a prominent doctor from Mumbai Dr Deepak Amarapurkar had lost his life by falling into an open manhole just a few metres from his home. Dr Amarpurkar's body was found only two days after his death. Similarly in the next two years, a two-year-old and a seven year old also lost their lives in Chembur and Dharavi respectively. Last year, a video of two women in Bhandup who fell into an open manhole had gone viral. Luckily, both women escaped unhurt.
The AAP has found 109 open manholes across the city spanning nine administrative wards.
Many of these manholes do not even have any warning signs put up around them making them a huge risk for pedestrians and drivers alike. “If the AAP can track more than 100 open manholes, why is it that the BMC with its huge budget and resources is not able to do the same? The question arises -- will the BMC only act once its negligence proves fatal?,” asked AAP-Mumbai Working President Dwijendra Tiwari.
"It is shameful that every year, the BMC refuses to do its duty and fix open manholes. This has now become an annual tragedy where someone or the other ends up falling into manholes and many times losing their lives,” he added.
“If the AAP can find so many open manholes across the city, what is stopping the BMC from tracking and fixing them? Will they only take action once lives are lost? We are literally living from one tragedy to the next and given the BMC's shoddy pre-monsoon preparation these tragedies are bound to recur,” said AAP-Mumbai Working President Ruben Mascarenhas.
"We demand that the BMC fix these 100 plus open manholes within the week as well as track, fix and report real time the statuses of open manholes across the city instead of waiting for another tragedy," said AAP Mumbai leader Gopal Jhaveri.