A staggering 1,500 manhole covers — costing a cool Rs 75,00,000 — get stolen in Mumbai every year. And these are conservative estimates, the real figure could easily be double this. But more interestingly, rarely, if ever, any arrests are made in connection with these thefts.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officers are required to lodge a complaint for every manhole cover theft with the concerned police station.
They must attach a copy of this police complaint with the requisition for a replacement cover. Thousands of such complaints are now lying with the police but the detection rate is close to zero.
The corporation has tried everything to prevent these thefts from chaining the manhole covers to the concrete inside, to covering them entirely with cement concrete but to no avail.