Mumbai civic body will be held responsible in case of any untoward incident due to open manholes: HC

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said while it appreciates the work being done by the citys civic body to cover open manholes, but until then if there is any untoward incident, then the corporation would be held responsible.A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja said it was concerned over the issue of open manholes across the city and sought the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation BMC to come up with a permanent solution.


PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 07-12-2022 12:38 IST | Created: 07-12-2022 12:33 IST
Mumbai civic body will be held responsible in case of any untoward incident due to open manholes: HC
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said while it appreciates the work being done by the city's civic body to cover open manholes, but until then if there is any untoward incident, then the corporation would be held responsible.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja said it was concerned over the issue of open manholes across the city and sought the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to come up with a permanent solution. The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions raising concerns over the increasing number of potholes across Maharashtra and also open manholes.

BMC's counsel Anil Sakhare told the court on Wednesday that the civic body was addressing the issue of open manholes on a ''war-footing basis'' and work was on to close all such manholes.

The bench then said while the corporation's efforts are appreciated but if till then there was any untoward incident, then the BMC would be held responsible. ''Good you (BMC) are working but till then if harm is caused to anyone, we will hold you responsible. We are appreciating the BMC but what happens if a manhole is open and someone falls down,'' Chief Justice Datta said.

''In such a situation, we won't ask the aggrieved person to initiate civil suit (for compensation)...we will say that your officers are responsible,'' he added.

The bench suggested the BMC make use of modern science and technology and devise something by which the officer concerned is alerted the moment the lid of a manhole is removed.

''In this modern day of science and technology, can't we think of something else. Why don't you (BMC) devise something by which you come to know if someone even touches the cover. Then a beep goes off in your office. Why don't you come up with something like a sensor?'' the court said.

The bench also suggested use of iron grills below the manhole cover.

''You must do some progressive thinking. It is your job. We cannot keep saying what needs to be done,'' the court said.

The bench further said there has to be some standard operating procedure to address the issue of open manholes.

''A solution has to be provided by you. What should be the appropriate solution for this... you tell us. We need permanent measures,'' the HC said posting the matter for further hearing on December 19.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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