Thursday, July 25, 2024

NH-40 manholes virtual deathtrap


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SHILLONG: The steel manholes on the National Highway 40 at Garikhana, Rilbong Point and elsewhere in the town are in a deplorable condition. The loose covers of these manholes create a nerve wracking sound for pedestrians and commuters every time a vehicle run over them. The sound gets louder when trucks hurtle over them.

In most of these manholes, one side of the cover has come out from the bolt, which has not only hurt pedestrians but has also ruined the tyres of many vehicles, said many commuters.

A traffic policeman stationed at the Garikhana junction said these manholes have been lying in this condition for several months and the authorities are not bothered about doing anything.

A driver of a Sumo maxi cab said these manholes are dangerous, too since cables run inside them and those might spark on account of the friction with vehicle tyres. “Though we try to avoid them but that is not always possible with the heavy traffic,” said the driver who plies between Shillong and Umiam.

The entire Garikhana area is also seen strewn with wires fixed on poles, hanging in the footpaths and lying on the road thereby causing inconvenience to the general public.

It is noticed that stones have been pushed into these manholes elsewhere in the city since the cover is gone and the internal cables are fully exposed to sun and rain. This could cause danger to the lives of the people who regularly traverse this road.

Residents of the area said, “The Chief Engineer, PWD (NH) has only turned a blind eye to this and has repeatedly blamed the monsoon for his inability to take any action.”

Since the manholes conceal electricity and telephone cables, The Shillong Times enquired from the PRO, MeECL about this lacuna.

He replied that he would have to check up and confirm about the maintenance of such manholes beyond Police Bazaar area.

Attempts to contact the BSNL failed.

The PHE authorities clarified that there are no water pipes running under these manholes, not especially in the middle of the road.


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