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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Blame game, no cover-up
- Maidan's killer manholes stay agape as authorities point fingers at each other

As the gaping jaws of death dot the Maidan, awaiting their next victim after the 40-year-old man who suffered a fatal fall on Wednesday, the blame game gathers steam in the offices of authority.

Twenty-four hours after the death caused by the organised theft of manhole covers and the apathy of the administration, Calcutta Police, Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) and Calcutta Telephones engaged in a post-mortem amounting to nothing .

The body of the unidentified man had been fished out of a Calcutta Telephones duct manhole, with its cover missing, along Casuarina Avenue near Victoria Memorial on Wednesday morning.

On Thursday, police admitted its failure to check manhole cover thefts. 'Our patrol teams have been asked to be more careful,' said Anuj Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (headquarters), adding that no specific case had been started as no complaint had been lodged.

At the CMC headquarters, commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay called S.K. Chakraborty, chief general manager, Calcutta Telephones, and set up a meeting for next week to 'find a solution' to manholes on the Maidan. The CalTel authorities have lodged an FIR over missing manhole covers.

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