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HMWSSB to use GPS technology

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Monsoon scare: Manholes have become death traps for people during the rainy season. —
Monsoon scare: Manholes have become death traps for people during the rainy season. —

J.S. Ifthekhar

To identify dangerous manholes before the onset of monsoon

Hyderabad: Once bitten twice shy. The Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) doesn’t want to take any chances with manholes, the nemesis of unsuspecting persons during monsoon.

It has embarked upon a massive exercise to identify critical manholes in the city that have proved dangerous in the past.

Some of the manholes are nothing but open invitation to death, particularly the uncovered ones. When a bank employee, Durga Kumari, got sucked into a manhole few years ago, there was a flurry of activity and blame game by civic authorities.

But nothing concrete was done to prevent recurrence of such tragedies.

This time round, the board has decided to put an end to such untoward incidents.

A month before the monsoon season sets in, plans are afoot to map the number of manholes in the State capital, zero in on the dangerous ones and take pre-emptive steps.

“We don’t want such unfortunate incidents recur. We want to make all manholes safe and secure,” said G. Asok Kumar, Managing Director, HMWSSB. The board is planning to use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to identify the manholes and also the points where water logging occurs whenever it rains. According to one estimate, the city has some 1.60 lakh manholes, including those pertaining to lateral lines, sub mains and trunk sewers.

A section-wise data base will be collected and put on the computer. To begin with, the Vengalrao Nagar area is being mapped out using the GPS technology. Slowly the entire city will be covered.

Time saving

The idea is to know the exact location of manholes in times of crisis. If there is complaint of an open manhole, the GPS technology will help locate it in seconds.

“What is the point if it takes two hours to locate a manhole? We want to cut down the response time,” says Mr. Asok Kumar.

This technology, it is said, will also help the board in preparing a route map for proper de-silting of the drains ahead of monsoon.

At present the job is entrusted to contractors and they go about it in a haphazard fashion. But with GPS it will be possible to properly cross check the work done, it is said.


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