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'Open Manholes Are Death Traps': Bombay High Court On 68-year-Old's Recent Death At Virar

Sharmeen Hakim
22 Nov 2022 3:49 PM GMT
Open Manholes Are Death Traps: Bombay High Court On 68-year-Olds Recent Death At Virar

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said that all open manholes adjoining the Eastern Express Highway must be covered by December 1, while calling them a "death trap" after a 68-year-old woman fell into one such manhole and lost her life.

The petitioner pointed out that on the EEH, especially from Mulund to Ghatkopar, there are innumerable open manholes on the road connecting the service road and main highway.

"Mr Sakhare, is it true? We will not put it in the order but by Monday we want a statement that after it was pointed out all these potholes have been covered," Chief Justice Dipankar Datta, who heads the division bench, said.

"These are all deathtraps....One may not die, but they may fracture themselves," CJ added.

Presiding over the court along with Justice Abhay Ahujak, the court also warned the BMC against seeking any extensions to comply with an earlier order regarding repairing of the 20 worst pothole ridden roads. The BMC had earlier given the court a timeline regarding concretization of Mumbai roads.

"Your commissioner had assured us. We don't want you asking for extension of time. I have read in the newspaper that certain tenders have been cancelled," CJ Datta told BMC counsel Senior Advocate Anil Sakhare.

As for the 68-year-old woman from Virar who died in a manhole, the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation informed that court that the particular footpath was not being used by pedestrians and a reply in that regard would be submitted by Friday.

The court was hearing the contempt application by Advocate Ruju Thakkar in a suo motu PIL on the poor condition of roads in the state. Thakkar submitted that there was no improvement at the ground level despite an authoritative judgement of the Bombay HC on the issue in 2018.

The court asked all parties involved to submit affidavits regarding periodic compliance of the September 30 order, while adjourning the matter to next Monday.

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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