ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to procure manhole covers made from recycled plastic to avoid their theft and is in the process of procuring 5,000 covers.
“We are in the tendering process for procuring 5,000 covers,” said Director General Sanitation Jawad Haider while talking to Dawn.
He said the covers would be procured in a transparent manner after a competitive process.
“There were reports of theft of iron and concrete-made covers. So to avoid such practices, we are going to procure plastic-made covers,” he said.
To a query about the missing manhole covers in various parts of the city, he said: “There are 29,000 manholes under the Sanitation Directorate and whenever we receive any complaint of missing covers, we place covers over there, so as per our knowledge, all the manholes are covered,” he said.
Another official of the Sanitation Directorate said that besides sewerage manholes, there were a large number of manholes for water drainage, water supply and telephone companies for underground networking.
The issue of the missing covers of manholes in Islamabad had come to the light during a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Climate Change held at the CDA Headquarters in July.
The committee had expressed concern over the alleged negligence of the city managers that led to the death of a son and his father in July after falling into an uncovered manhole in Sector I-10. One of the committee members Romina Khurshid Alam had claimed that an estimated 102 manholes in the city had no covers, which was a matter of concern. After the said manhole tragedy, the CDA had announced that soon it would have new covers in place of the missing ones.
According to CDA officials, it is a common practice for criminals to steal the manhole covers as having iron bars, which they sell in junkyards. Like manhole covers, thieves also steal garbage bins. Recently, the Islamabad Police, on complaints of the CDA, registered several cases regarding the theft of garbage bins after more than 60 dumpsters were found stolen from the capital’s urban areas.
Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2023