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Manhole cover thefts warning.

PEOPLE stealing or removing manhole covers are putting residents' lives at risk, officials warned yesterday.

A campaign has now been launched in the Northern Governorate following incidents of stolen covers being sold as scrap.

It followed a meeting held yesterday between the Works Ministry's senior sewage and roads officials and Northern Municipal Council members.

Ministry officials told councillors that open manholes posed a danger with the possibility of people falling in. They may also be turned into unauthorised dumpsters for hazardous and harmful materials, they added.

A toll free hotline, 80001810, has been set up by the ministry for people to report any flooding at manholes as well as suspicious removal of covers.

"We have seen various cases of manhole cover thefts across the country and people can ask those removing the covers for their identification," said ministry senior civil engineer Majed Sharaf.

"If they fail to do so, then people have to report them to us through our hotline.

"Most of the stolen lids are sold as scrap and that's serious if we take the repercussions with the possibility of people falling in them or hazardous and harmful substances and materials dumped in them.

"The sewage network could also face a problem due to flooding especially in low-lying areas if covers are removed and kept aside by residents.

"This job is ours and they should leave it to us to handle any problem or fault associated with manholes."

Meanwhile, ministry sewage strategic projects unit head Nabeel Al Khair said that 70 per cent of a new BD3.6 million sewage network in Saar and Maqaba has been completed.

He said that only home connections to the network remain, which would be completed in August.

Ministry sewage maintenance unit head Abdulnabi Al Kofi said that BD12m would be spent on rain drainage holes in 95 locations in the governorate, which would be ready by the end of next year.

alaali@gdn.com.bh

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Mar 10, 2011
Words:336
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