The manhole has been lying open without any protective grill for long and it is not the first time that such an incident has occurred. They raised the issue with the IMC officials on several occasions but in vain, said shopkeepers and parking attendants
A 31-year-old woman had a close shave on Wednesday after she fell into an open manhole in Nagamapal Parking area opposite Sangai Hotel. She was pulled out with an injury to her right leg and minor bruises.
Narrating the incident, her husband David Vaiphei, a lawyer by profession, told The Frontier Manipur that the incident happened when they were about to return home after shopping for some electronic gadgets from the market.
He was sitting in the driver’s seat and her wife went to put their shopping in the hatchback of their car. He started looking for her when she did not get in the car after a few minutes. When he did not see his wife, he got off the car and heard a feeble voice of his wife from an open manhole, he added.
He alerted the passers-by and jumped into the manhole and found his wife injured. They were later pulled out by the passers-by and rushed to hospital. She was discharged after giving first aid. However, she is still in traumatised state, he said.
It was sheer luck that she escaped with minor injuries as the 10-foot-deep drainage was not running at capacity due to dry season and she was travelling with him, he added.
He lamented the negligence of Imphal Municipal Corporation officials.
Parking attendants and nearby shopkeepers told the TFM that the manhole has been lying open without any protective grill for long and it is not the first time that such an incident has occurred. They raised the issue with the IMC officials on several occasions but in vain, they added.
TFM tried to reach out to IMC officials for a statement on the incident but in vain.
Meanwhile, a noted legal expert in Manipur Victor Chongtham said maintenance of deteriorated and dangerous surfaces, like manholes, is the duty of the city’s municipal corporation. Accidents because of poor management and conditions, resulting in deaths or injuries, can be considered to have occurred due to municipal corporation’s negligence.
“These corporations act as agents of the government, wherein it can be sued under the principle of Vicarious Liability. The argument is that such accidents could have been controlled if the municipal corporation exercised more vigilance,” he added.
He also opined that various laws, doctrines, and principles could be evoked to prove negligence and the lack of care by the public authorities responsible for maintaining these manholes, thus making them liable for the occurrence of these accidents causing injuries.