Manual scavengers turn into entrepreneurs in Hyderabad

The Telangana state government has launched 70 mini sewer jetting machines, which is a step towards eliminating manual scavenging and helping scavengers turn into entrepreneurs. 

Published: 05th June 2017 06:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2017 05:51 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: People, whose livelihood depended on the inhuman practice of manual scavenging, have now turned entrepreneurs. 

The Telangana state government has launched 70 mini sewer jetting machines, which is a step towards eliminating manual scavenging and helping scavengers turn into entrepreneurs. 

Though sewer jetting machines are already used by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB), are unable to ply in the narrow by-lanes of Hyderabad, due to their size.

Now, these newly launched mini machines/ mini airtech machines are useful as they can enter by-lanes and uses hydrodynamic cleaning procedures to clean manholes. This means people do not have to enter manholes to clean them. 

Telangana municipal administration and urban development minister KT Rama Rao launched the mini sewer jetting machines here on Monday.

The initiative of eliminating manual scavenging and turning labourers into entrepreneurs is a joint effort by HWSSB and the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI).

Representatives of DICCI said around 28 owners of the mini airtech machines used to work as manual scavengers in the state, earlier. Hereafter, they own the machines and they do not have to enter manholes.

However, manual scavenging in the city is not completely eliminated. According to HMWSSB officials, the city is divided into 70 sections and around 600 people are employed in the sewage section. One machine is allotted to each section.

Officials from the water board said this will help reduce the work load on their employees and said there are plans to hire more such machines. Since monsoons are scheduled to set in, there would be a demand for services to clear manholes.

Recalling the tragic incident on August 13, 2016, in Madhapur, where three labourers died of asphyxiation in a sewerage pit they had entered to clean,  MAUD minister KT Rama Rao said officials were clearly instructed not to allow the practice of manual scavenging in Hyderabad. He said the state government is ready to procure more sewer machines if needed.

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