Saudi Gazette – Residents of Al-Khobar’s Iskan Al-Madani area have cautioned the authorities about growing incidents of manhole cover thefts. They have asked officials to take immediate action to cover open manholes to prevent people, especially children, from falling into them.

People of Al-Khobar also complained about the poor condition of their streets, which require immediate maintenance work. They reminded the authorities that the stealing of manhole caps near schools posed a big threat to children.

Ali Al-Qahtani accused the authorities of negligence for keeping the manholes open for several days without any concern that they might endanger precious lives. “The company that was awarded the paving contract did not do the job properly,” he told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

He said the company removed the existing pavements and destroyed manhole covers without putting any warning signs for people to take caution.

Saeed Al-Malki said the excesses by the contracting company in Iskan Al-Madani reflects a lack of proper monitoring by concerned authorities while implementing government projects.

“We were happy when the municipality started repair works on the road but the company has committed a number of violations while implementing the project due to absence of a proper monitoring regime,” he told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

He said manholes have been kept open near three schools. “Students are likely to fall in these holes if they are not closed immediately,” he added.

Students walk to schools and back home along pavements that have open manholes, Al-Malki said, and urged the municipality to closely monitor works carried out by contractors.

Mohammed Al-Qarni stressed the need to cover the open manholes immediately before any deadly accidents take place. According to him, the manhole covers were taken away by thieves.

An employee at the branch office of Water and Electricity Ministry in the Eastern Province said it has noticed recurrent thefts of manhole covers by weak-minded people and urged citizens to inform the ministry about such incidents to punish those criminals.

“This phenomenon was costing the ministry additional expenditures. There is continuous coordination with security agencies to catch such criminals as well as to monitor shops where thieves sell stolen covers,” he said.
The ministry official urged citizens and residents to contact 939 when they see manholes removed in order to replace them with new ones immediately.

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