Igniting Ideas For impact

Embarking on a transformative journey through six chapters, we traverse India's landscape, exploring pioneering startups and their revolutionary...

10 months

When BMC Failed, Mumbaikar Spent Hours Alerting Motorists About Open Sewer!

This open sewer lay right in the middle of the road, which was a potential death hole for unaware speeding motorists.

When BMC Failed, Mumbaikar Spent Hours Alerting Motorists About Open Sewer!

In August 2017, noted Mumbai-based gastroenterologist Dr Deepak Amrapurkar, died after being sucked into an open manhole, as he walked on a flooded street during heavy rains. At the time, four persons were taken into custody after they had allegedly opened the manhole to allow water to drain out that day after heavy rains hit the city and had forgotten to put the lid back on.

Amrapukar’s body was found in a drain in Worli two days after his disappearance. The Dadar police had booked the four men under section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) reported the Indian Express. 

The gastroenterologist is perhaps one of the only known faces among many who lose their lives due to a small act of negligence on the part of BMC workers and sometimes other civilians.

But in a heroic act on Thursday, one 34-year-old man spent nearly two hours cautioning motorists about an open manhole in Matunga.

mumbaikar open sewer
(L) – Ravi Patil/ Facebook. (R) – Representational image. Source: Flickr

Ravi Patil, who works as a supervisor for a contractor at the Nathalal D Mehta Garden under the Matunga flyover, was out for lunch that day. The Mumbai Mirror reports that Patil noticed the open sewer manhole near Jagadeo Narayan Verma bus stop opposite Shrinivas building while riding his bike home.

This open sewer lay right in the middle of the road, which was a potential death hole for unaware speeding motorists.

Ravi knew that only BMC employees were authorised to open or shut a manhole. But neither was a red flag or a bamboo stick set up near the open sewer as a warning sign nor was there any BMC employee on guard to alert the motorists, as per protocol.

Parking his bike, next to the sewer to slow the motorists, Patil started warning them of the danger and waving them away from the sewer. At the same time, he started calling the local BMC office to get help to close the sewer.

But to no avail.

When he dialled the disaster cell contact, he received no response from the first two numbers. On dialling the third number, the responder said she would alert the concerned authorities after her lunch.

When the BMC failed to respond, the civilian took the matter into his own hands. He reached out to some of his colleagues, and within no time, a gardener and a watchman arrived with a pick-axe, and the three men put the lid back on.

Speaking about his disdain at the BMC’s lack of response, Patil told the Mumbai Mirror, “I was shocked to hear the responses of BMC officers. Since I got no support from the BMC, I decided to do the job myself. This open manhole could have led to a serious mishap.”

Read More: Undaunted by Heavy Rains, Mumbai Cop Controls Traffic Without Raincoat, Umbrella

When the publication reached out to F-North ward’s disaster management cell, officials acknowledged there was a complaint by Patil, but said that the issue was resolved. Whereas, Assistant Ward Commissioner Keshav Ubale said he had received no complaint of open manholes in Matunga.

It is indeed unfortunate that civilians have to step up and do the job authorities are meant to. While no words can express how grateful all the motorists who drove via that route should be to Patil, it is high time, BMC looks into such matters and takes strict action in matters of negligence to avoid loss of lives during monsoons.

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

Like this story? Or have something to share?
Write to us: [email protected]
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
NEW: Click here to get positive news on WhatsApp!

If you found our stories insightful, informative, or even just enjoyable, we invite you to consider making a voluntary payment to support the work we do at The Better India. Your contribution helps us continue producing quality content that educates, inspires, and drives positive change.

Choose one of the payment options below for your contribution-

By paying for the stories you value, you directly contribute to sustaining our efforts focused on making a difference in the world. Together, let’s ensure that impactful stories continue to be told and shared, enriching lives and communities alike.

Thank you for your support. Here are some frequently asked questions you might find helpful to know why you are contributing?

Support the biggest positivity movement section image
Support the biggest positivity movement section image

This story made me

  • feel inspired icon
  • more aware icon
  • better informative icon
  • do something icon

Tell Us More



See All