Secunderabad Cantonment Board’s health & sanitation wing handles the sewerage system, whose lines run over 500 kilometres, with three jet machines. SCB officials admit that they were receiving, 15 to 20 complaints, on an average, every day regarding sewer water overflows or choking of the sewer network.
According to SCB official records, there were 50,000 manholes spread over 500 kilometre length of sewerage network in the Cantonment.
SCB officials said they would not allow manual cleaning of choked drains in the cantonment. “Like GHMC and HMWS&SB, Cantonment Board does not have a sewerage system like trunk mains and lakhs of manholes. In the existing network, as manholes are not deep, SCB uses jet machines to clean choked manholes and sewer lines,” SCB senior superintendent (SWM) M Devender told TOI.
Regarding uncovered manholes, except a few, over 80% of them have covers. “Whenever we receive complaints of uncovered manholes, sanitation workers fix the covers. As a result, till now, no single manhole death has been reported,” said the SCB official.
Social worker T Satish Gupta said that though residential welfare associations (RWAs) had given representations about uncovered manholes, it fell on deaf ears. “As a result, manholes have become death traps in the Cantonment,” he said. Officials have to inspect every manhole for people’s safety, he said.