A large number of open manholes on Misarial Road near Barafkhan Chowk in Rawalpindi has become death traps for pedestrians and motorists alike.
The road becomes even more dangerous when it rains as it gets inundated and the uncovered manholes become invisible. Then Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) has ignored the issue despite receiving many complaints.
Several incidents have taken place in which motorcyclists have fallen and suffered injuries because of these manholes while vehicles getting stuck in them have become commonplace. When it rains, citizens and traders insert long sticks or branches of trees in open manholes to warn unsuspecting citizens of the danger.
The residents of the locality have protested against the pathetic condition of Misaryal Road umpteenth times but to no avail. Recently, the residents and traders held a demonstration in Baraf Khan Chowk and chanted slogans against the cantonment administration.
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The protesters said that the open manholes have become a well of death for the citizens. They said that the authorities concerned turn a deaf ear to the complaints.
Traders, including Raja Javed, Khursheed and Niyaz Ahmed, said that they had filed complaints with the cantonment board several times. They said that the board had previously covered the manholes with iron covers that were stolen by drug addicts. They demanded cover manholes with concrete mortar.
The shopkeepers said the manholes were up to 7-feet deep and if somebody fell in; they suffer serious injuries.
They said that they have themselves rescued three people who fell into different manholes. They demanded that the elected members of the cantonment immediately resolved the issue.
On contact, the elected member from cantonment from Ward-3, Malik Mansoor, said that he has just won the election and covering all open manholes would be his priority.
He said that although there was a shortage of funds, all manholes on the related road will be covered within two weeks.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2021.
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