It is a shame on the government that has literally done nothing for the sewage workers despite spending a huge fund under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The Supreme Court has ordered the abolition of manual scavenging, yet the practice of cleaning the sewage with help of human being continues. As a result, the sewage cleaners keep dying in sewage pits in the course of cleaning.
Bezwada Wilson, an activist of national convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan claims that there are technologies that can be used as an alternative to the manual scavenging, but the government has done nothing to deal with the problem.
“Mechanisation and modernisation of sewage cleaning has been completely ignored by the government,” said Bezwada Wilson.
Developed countries have two main methods to loosen blockages and clear sewer drains without using manual scavengers:
- Sewer Rodding
- Sewer Jetting
Sewer rodding involves a long metal rod rotating fast to loosen the blockage. Jetting involves a hose spraying a high-pressure jet of water to clear a sewage pipe of blockages. Hyderabad has introduced 70 mini sewer jetting machines in 2017.
Manual scavenging in Delhi has been in focus due to recent deaths, showing concern, the Delhi Jal Board vice-chairman Dinesh Mohaniya said the body expects to “automate sewage cleaning in the next 2-3 months”.