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Vijay Hingorani,a resident of Bandra was few days away from joining a firm in Bangalore with a handsome salary of 2.5 lakhs, until the unfortunate day when he broke his leg due to an uncovered manhole in Bombay. He is the sole bread earner of his family. Vijay has now chosen to take the fight against BMC by suing them for 1.5 crores as compensation for his medical expenses and loss of livelihood. Despite the hard posturing by Vijay, he goes on to plead to the BMC with folded hands to prevent such a thing happening again.
India’s pit of death
BMC is the richest municipal corporation in India, its budget surpasses budgets of some of the states in India. And not surprisingly the municipal elections of Mumbai is some of the hotly contested. Despite the Corporations sitting on adequate money and resources, India has not been able to curb the number of deaths due to open manholes. According to the data of 2011, the number of deaths due to open manholes in India is 1,847. Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of deaths with 451 people dying due to fall in manholes. Mumbai, Pune and Nasik are the top cities in such accidents. These staggering numbers from one of the richest states and the richest municipal corporation clearly suggest large scale negligence of duty, lack of communication among the various department and perhaps large-scale corruption too.
Our thoughts and wishes go out to Mr Vijay Hingorani for his speedy recovery and to the many who have got injured or died due to manholes. We appeal to the various Municipal Corporations to keep alive the spirit of decentralized democracy and work sincerely to prevent deaths and improve the services to the people. We also appeal to the people to hold their representatives accountable for their action by raising their voice.