‘The Responsible Manhole’ Addresses Problem of Insufficient Drainage on Mumbai Roads

As it rains and the manhole cover is dislodged, a device rises above ground and alerts passers-by with an LED blinker and buzzer.


Brihanmumbai Corporation, TVS Motor


Dentsu Creative India

According to a new campaign from Brihanmumbai Corporation (BMC) and TVS Motor Company, Mumbai suffers from chronic waterlogging year after year due to the city’s insufficient drainage system and its capacity to handle floods. The problem with waterlogging reduces the visibility of open manholes which can be fatal for pedestrians and for motorcyclists.

In response, Dentsu Creative conceived of ‘The Responsible Manhole’, a road safety initiative in partnership BMC and TVS that addresses the critical issue of open manholes in the city.

The campaign cites a survey saying that two-wheeler riders are the obvious victims of the submerged open manholes in the city.


“TVS Motor Company, one of the leading manufacturers of two-wheelers and three-wheelers globally wants to put rider safety in the forefront with this initiative,” said a release.

Based on historical data of low-lying areas in Mumbai, this unique device is installed at multiple locations which are the most prone to flooding. This warning device is installed beneath a manhole. The device is connected to a specially designed app created for the BMC, it receives real-time notifications along with the geolocation of the open manhole.

As it rains and the manhole cover is dislodged, the device automatically rises above ground and gets activated. Once activated, it alerts passers-by with LED blinker and buzzer. It also notifies the BMC via the app for prompt action.


“TVS Motor Company has always endeavored to leverage technology to enhance road safety. This time round along with our partner Dentsu Creative we have focused on monsoon and the OPEN manhole,” said Aniruddha Haldar, Senior Vice President (Marketing), TVS Motor Company.

“A simple but insightful use of connectivity and technology coupled with building support ecosystem with the administration proves to literally be a lifesaver! We have anchored this in inception and will take it to other cities. TVS Motor Company remains committed to leveraging technology to making our roads safer!”

Gurbaksh Singh, Chief Innovation Officer, Dentsu Creative, added, “The Responsible Manhole is a testament to how the right use of technology and data can aid the lives of countless people. Collaborating with the BMC and TVS Motor Company on this project was such an enriching experience. We’re glad to see that innovation is at the source of solving some of India’s biggest problems.”

In addition to this, the safety system will also keep an eye on the regular maintenance work and notify the concerned authority if a manhole is left open above the standard maintenance time to avoid any unpleasant incidents.

The road safety initiative will help the people and the authorities in reducing accidents related to open manholes in the city and make the commute much safer during the monsoons.

Chaitanya Joshi, Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Creative added, “It is work like this that makes us fall in love with advertising all over again. The problem we tried to solve hits home for lakhs of Mumbaikars. We, at dentsu, and the good folks at TVS are optimistic that we would be able to help other Indian cities with a flooding problem as well.”

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