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Cover the open Manholes

This petition had 17,130 supporters

Open drains were in news again, when a noted gastroenterologist, Dr Deepak Amarapurkar, was swallowed by one in Mumbai.

His case was one of the many reported and unreported cases of deaths[1] due to the manholes left open for many reasons.

While this problem is there since long, no workable solution is in sight.

Human Life- A Cheap commodity in India

As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report of 2011, lives of 1,843 people were lost in that year alone due to fall in manholes. Five persons die every day due to fall in pits and manholes[2].

Madhya Pradesh has the dubious distinction of highest deaths, followed by Gujarat and Rajasthan.

It is pity that someone loses his life due to negligence of the civic staff and the irony is that these precious lives could have been saved by just a small out of box thinking.

 What’s that out of box idea?

We use mesh to cover the bathroom drains to prevent the soap from going down the drain and to prevent the rodents coming out of the drain.

We apply the same principle while making the tea.

Then, why not fix a mesh on the manholes, below their cover?

Municipal Authorities and the concerned District Administration/ State Governments should make it mandatory to install removable steel rods mesh below the covers of all the manholes in the area under their jurisdiction.

During heavy rains, the upper cover of the manholes can be lifted, while the steel rods mesh remains in place like the one in bathrooms or in tea filters. Though the drains will remain submerged under flooded streets, yet these drains will still allow the rainwater to drain off easily, while preventing the accidental fall of any person or animal or vehicle through it. This mesh can be removed anytime during cleaning or repair of these manholes and reinstalled after this work is over.

This solution will work during the period of darkness also and requires no manual supervision.

This simple solution is very cheap and can be manufactured at a local welder’s shop at very minimal price. However, the many lives saved and prevention of damage to vehicles will be invaluable!



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