The Manhole Cover Mystery


what does india’s sewage system, or the lack of it have to do with that pinnacle of sportmanship and human bonding, the olympics? the answer can be had from the brihanmumbai municipal corporation(bmc). Readers of the Times Of India, seeing the headline “1,500 manhole covers stolen, BMC says Olympics to blame” on monday, might have been somewhat alarmed as to the state of the mental health of mumbais civic officials. But like all else, there is much method endemic madness of this glorious nation of ours.The BMC is of the opinion that the explosive construction activity accompanying the forthcoming Beijing extravaganza has led to a spike in demand for iron ore.It could also be called a rather twisted case of the famed indian entrepreneurial spirit(each cover apparently fetches a cool rs.5,500), but given the unifying olympic context, we could console ourselves by the magnanimity, helping the asian cause, as it were. And since we ritually send out large contingents to the games so that they can return empty handed, perhaps the chinese will also be kind enough to fix us a few medals in return- a couple of bronzes maybe, one mustn’t be too greedy..


this isn’t just about comic relief amidst the normality ofmurders, price hikes, et al. there is also possibly a social service angle to this. One has been made sufficiently aware as to the do-gooder spirit that shuffles the mumbai gangs, as Mr. Ram Gopal Varma never tires of pointing out. and with the monsoon arriving early, these lid-lifters are helping to prevent mumbais woeful tryst with flooded streets. as the monty python song says, “always look on the bright side of life.”

(editorial:The Economic Times)

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