A few days ago, I happened to pass by the King Faisal road in Sharjah and noticed two manholes on the footpath that were broken and badly damaged (as shown in the photographs).
Being a residential area, these manholes pose a threat to pedestrian safety as they were filled with broken pieces of wood, garbage, rocks and several other objects. This threatens the lives of countless pedestrians and children who pass by this area regularly.
I noticed a woman walking with her stroller on the manhole who had failed to notice that it was broken. I screamed and brought the broken manhole to her notice. It was a narrow escape!
I believe that accidents are likely to happen in future as more people fail to notice such manholes on their way. We all want to live in a safe environment. Dreadful sights like these take us one step back from achieving our goal.
As I foresee disasters to happen very soon, I urge the concerned authorities to look into the matter, take immediate action and cover the manholes at the earliest.
Residents living in the same residential area also expressed worry about the broken manholes.
Janaradahana Sharma said: “As we already know about the open manhole, we are extra vigilant while walking during night time and watch our steps to avoid any mishap, but what about those people who are using this footpath for the first time?”
Satish Kumar told the newspaper: “At night, it is difficult to notice open pits and manholes. I have seen many people having narrow escapes and injuries from these deadly death traps.”
Dharmesh Vaidhaya, who is a parent of school going children, said: “Parents should keep an eye on their children from windows and balconies while they go to school. Children’s safety should be a key priority.”
The reader is a student of The Millennium School, Dubai, and based in Sharjah.
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Editor’s note: Sharjah Municipality was contacted for further comments. Despite repeated reminders, they did not respond.