Tiruchy Corp contract firm employs workers for manual scavenging without safety gear
Ashokan, one of the workers, said that they would be provided with gloves and shoes only when there was strict enforcement by the corporation.
Published: 21st September 2022 05:39 AM | Last Updated: 21st September 2022 05:39 AM | A+A A-
TIRUCHY: Hardly weeks since the State government notified rules for employment and rehabilitation of manual scavengers, at least seven persons were found clearing drains -- with their bare hands - in Thillai Nagar Main Road on Tuesday.
While sources mentioned the workers as employees of a private firm that was on a contract with the city corporation, an alleged lack of safety gear and equipment was cited as reason for the act of manual scavenging. Ashokan, one of the workers, said that they would be provided with gloves and shoes only when there was strict enforcement by the corporation.
While another worker, Balu, said the stench was unbearable, he added that they plunge into the act without precautionary gear as they have few options to earn a living. "Until the firm stops considering procurement of safety equipment as an unnecessary expenditure we have to work without any safety," he added.
When asked about the lack of safety gear, the supervisor replied that the company was yet to procure them. Once they are bought they would be provided to the workers, he added. CPM district secretary R Raja pointed to how such dangerous practices to clear drains continued despite numerous court judgments and government orders against it.
"Instead of involving humans, vehicles meant for such cleaning should be used," he added. When contacted city corporation Commissioner R Vaithinathan said the contractor concerned has been instructed to provide the workers with necessary safety equipment.