Transportation - Vehicles

Missing Manhole Covers Continue To Cause Concern

Many manholes and drainage covers can be seen to be missing throughout the capital, putting lives in danger and resulting in damage to motor vehicles.

The uncovered manholes are also being used as a dumping ground for household rubbish, which threatens to clog the drains in question when the rainy season arrives.

The uncovered manholes and missing drain covers are especially dangerous in areas that are poorly lit as motorists and pedestrians have little chance of seeing them and are at great risk of crashing or falling in.

Director of the Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department, Mr Detsongkham Thammavong told Vientiane Times yesterday that in the past years the authorities have attempted to make it more difficult for thieves to steal manhole covers but that unfortunately they still seem to be able to make off with them.

Mr Detsongkham said the authorities will need to revisit the issue and increase their efforts to make the covers more difficult to steal or to use materials other than steel which would be less attractive to thieves.

At present, many manhole covers are made of iron and attract a good price at the nearest scrap metal dealers, making them attractive to potential thieves.

Currently, any manhole covers and drainage lids that are missing will have to be ordered in from abroad as the local contractor does not have the capacity to produce enough to meet demand.

A resident in Phontong Chommany village, Chanthabouly district Mr Bounleua said that many people end up having an accident when they park their cars somewhere that drainage lids are missing.

“Just last month I saw a car driving on Phontong Road looking for somewhere to park before going to eat at a restaurant but they drove over an uncovered manhole instead and sustained serious damage to their car,” Mr Bounleua said.

“The car owner was very sad that his car was broken. I think the authorities should make better lids which are not so easy to steal.”

Mr Detsongkham said the Public Works and Transport Department is currently researching the issue and will set a standard size so that it the lids are easy to replace when they are broken or lost.

Source: Vientiane Times