Cuttack agency adopts high-pressure suction to clean box drain, halts manual scavenging

The agency’s move came after a news report was published in TNIE on June 10 highlighting the hazardous method of cleaning the newly constructed box drain manually with the help of labourers.
CMC mayor Subhas Singh supervising the box drain cleaning work in Cuttack
CMC mayor Subhas Singh supervising the box drain cleaning work in Cuttack Photo | Express

CUTTACK: Facing outrage over its practice of manual scavenging, the agency carrying out the box drain project in Cuttack city on Friday started cleaning the drainage channel with a vehicle-mounted high-pressure super sucker machine.

CMC mayor Subhas Singh supervising the box drain cleaning work in Cuttack
Despite loss of lives, Cuttack Municipal Corporation sticks to manual scavenging

The agency’s move came after a news report was published in TNIE on June 10 highlighting the hazardous method of cleaning the newly-constructed box drain manually with the help of labourers who were entering inside a manhole without safety gears.

After publication of the report, WATCO’s drainage division immediately stopped the manual cleaning carried out by the private agency and asked it to procure the machine. Accordingly, the agency hired the high-pressure super sucker machine mounted on two vehicles from New Delhi and engaged it in the cleaning work.

On Friday, the two vehicles carrying the machine were connected to the drain at Kesharpur. Cleaning work was carried out safely, a demonstration of which was shown to the authorities of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC). The civic body will be taking over the maintenance of the box drain after the project is completed and handed over to it.

Sources said the truck-mounted suction unit is able to create vacuum and pressure inside the tank for siphoning silt and solid waste from the box drain. On its first day of operation, the machine removed solid waste materials including a helmet from inside the drain apart from the silt.

The main storm water channel-1, which is 2.590 km in length, has been converted into box drain from Buxi Bazar to Professorpada to facilitate communication, ease traffic congestion and prevent foul smell in the area. Cleaning of the drain will be carried out through manholes at different places like Rausapatana, Gamadhia and Friends Colony, said an official of WACTO’s drainage division.

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