ISLAMABAD: In a proactive move, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is set to acquire manhole covers crafted from recycled plastic as a deterrent against theft.
The authority is currently in the process of procuring a substantial batch of 5,000 such covers.
Director General Sanitation, Jawad Haider, revealed, “We are in the tendering process for procuring 5,000 covers.” He emphasized that the procurement would follow a transparent and competitive procedure.
The decision to transition to plastic manhole covers stems from reports of theft involving traditional iron and concrete covers. This strategic shift is aimed at mitigating such incidents.
Responding to inquiries about missing manhole covers in various parts of the city, Haider clarified, “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.”
Another official from the Sanitation Directorate noted that aside from sewerage manholes, the city boasts a substantial number of manholes used for water drainage, water supply, and underground networking by telephone companies.
The issue of missing manhole covers in Islamabad came to light during a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Climate Change at the CDA Headquarters in July.
In addition, the committee expressed concern about the alleged negligence of city management, which had resulted in a tragic incident where a father and son fell into an uncovered manhole in Sector I-10, leading to fatalities.
A committee member, Romina Khurshid Alam, raised alarm over an estimated 102 manholes in the city lacking covers.
In response to the tragic incident, the CDA committed to replacing the missing covers promptly.
CDA officials explained that it’s a common practice for criminals to steal manhole covers due to the iron bars they contain, which can be sold in junkyards.
In addition to manhole covers, thieves have also targeted garbage bins recently, leading to several cases being registered by Islamabad Police in response to CDA complaints.