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Manholes or speed breakers? Commuters in Hyderabad ask civic body

Several manholes in the city are either broken, under-repair or it’s found that the capping of manholes to adjust the road-level was not done properly, hampering the smooth flow of traffic.

Published: 23rd June 2021 09:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2021 09:27 AM   |  A+A-

A manhole left open on the footpath at People’s Plaza, PV Narasimha Rao Marg, in Hyderabad on Tuesday. (Photo | S Senbagapandiyan, EPS)

A manhole left open on the footpath at People’s Plaza, PV Narasimha Rao Marg, in Hyderabad on Tuesday. (Photo | S Senbagapandiyan, EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The manholes, which are supposed to be access points for stormwater drains and sewers, are turning out to be speed breakers for commuters across the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits as they are facing severe inconvenience while passing through broken or open manholes.

Several manholes in the city are either broken, under-repair or it’s found that the capping of manholes to adjust the road-level was not done properly, hampering the smooth flow of traffic. The square-shaped manholes are maintained by the GHMC and the circle-shaped ones by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB).

A few days ago, the GHMC suspended two engineers for dereliction of duty and also slapped Rs 1 lakh in penalty on the Comprehensive Road Maintenance Programme agency after an open stormwater drain near Gandhi Hospital was found to pose a threat to human life. Following this incident, the GHMC gave strict instructions to Assistant Engineers working in all 150 wards to go for rounds to inspect manholes every day and ensure that they are not broken. 

Speaking to Express, M Devanand, Chief Engineer (Maintenance), GHMC, said that measures are taken up for repairs at manholes whenever they receive complaints in the MyGHMC app. “We are ensuring that stormwater drain covers or catchpits provide free flow of rainwater without affecting traffic flow,” he said.
Another official, P Mohan Reddy, Deputy Commissioner, Secunderabad Circle, said that teams were alerted to keep a close watch on manholes during the rains so that citizens are not inconvenienced.

Ineffective WhatsApp channel 

In 2018, the GHMC launched a WhatsApp channel (8897477250) to receive complaints related to manholes in the city. However, the initiative which was supposed to act as a platform for citizens to inform about faulty manholes and get it fixed, has failed to take off. Even the plan to geotag manholes for authorities to respond quickly on missing or damaged covers has been shelved as officials said that this initiative was not giving expected results.

Shiva Kiran, executive vice-president, United Federation of Resident Welfare Associations, Hyderabad, claimed that at least 10 to 15 per cent of the manholes are always damaged in the city. “We have already suggested to the GHMC to deploy an exclusive vehicle and appoint staff to work on manholes on a day-to-day basis,” he added.

GHMC issues strict instructions

After two engineers were suspended for dereliction of duty, the GHMC gave strict instructions to Assistant Engineers in all 150 wards to go for inspection of manholes



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