Mangaluru: That’s Not Smart-Having Bunch of Sinking Manholes in the ‘Would-Be’ Smart City

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Mangaluru: Is there a fix to car-jarring deep manhole covers? Why are manhole covers no longer level with the road surface? The roads are full of these cavernous holes caused by manholes being several inches or more below the road.The main reason is the over laying of new black top with out placing an extension or raising the crown and lid to the new street level. This happens do to poor planing on the city or state when overlaying new streets. And none of the city officials care about it until these manholes show danger to motorists-then they decide to fix them. These repeatedly caved in manholes leave craters on the surface, creating endless hassle for road users and residents alike. Many a times our lovely authorities look for just temporary fixes rather than finding permanent solutions.

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I being a vehicle owner like many of you know that feeling of driving over those in ground manholes that have sunk well below the road surface. If PWD or our Mangaluru City Corporation would plan better when resurfacing our roads, maybe they could avoid these occurrences- but that’s not happening at all. Having sinking manholes right in the middle of the roads is kind of hazardous for motorists. Some of the manholes constructed few years back are sinking than those which have been there during British time- so it’s poor planning and poor workmanship of the present contractors and labourers-the older ones have put the new kid on the block to shame.

In some areas, the entire structure, including the lid have sank few inches below the surface leaving a huge gaping hole on the road. Not a pretty sight; pretty alarming, indeed. Although a few of these dilapidated manholes have been repaired, some in the process, but you can’t be sure that the problems there have been fully addressed. For, there are manholes that have caved in multiple times. Also, you fix a problem at one place and it erupts at another point. Sounds familiar, did you say? Isn’t it typical of how the government and local departments work here? But come on, it’s public hard earned money that is involved. You have a right to seek accountability.

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But it should be possible to solve these sinking manholes problems. In this e-age, when we have solutions for some of the toughest technological issues, if simple things like manholes from caving in cannot be done, it can never be the fault of science or systems.The problem could be due to faulty design, poor planning and sub-standard execution of work or anything else. Something is seriously wrong with the way repairs are being handled which needs to be addressed. Instead of spending the few crores that have sanctioned already towards “Smart City” project on huge hoardings and advertising, the same money could be used to fix these manholes and also the many dilapidated/pot-holed roads that are currently existing in the City. Can somebody enlighten or awake the concerned officials on these civic issues-thank you!

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