As the state government is claiming Bengaluru to be a ‘Smart City’ in multiple national and international forums, the work being carried out on the ground is not so ‘smart’.
The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the heads of corporations and municipalities to file a written undertaking that no manual scavenging work would be permitted in their jurisdiction.
The robot uses a camera to identify blockages, and then its powerful water jet and cutting system flushes them out in the sewer line.
Arun Halder, Vice Chairman of the National SC commission along with commission member Ramulu, the commission's Hyderabad Director G Sunil Kumar Babu carried out a visit to the spot of the incident.
Although no deaths have been reported due to manual scavenging, 309 people died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks in the last five years, the government said.
TPCC chief Revanth Reddy visited the families of manual scavengers Shiva and Ananthaiah who got washed away while they were working inside a GHMC manhole.
The police have filed a case against contractor B Yellaiah under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 and 304 A (Causing death by negligence) of IPC.
The body of one worker Shiva, 25, has been pulled out of the manhole while the rescuers could not locate the other worker Anjaiah.
Besides the Delhi government, the high court had earlier asked municipal bodies, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Cantonment Board and Public Works Department to file their affidavits to the petition.
There have been no deaths because of manual scavenging in past years, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Justice P C Pant, member, NHRC, said the toxicity of the society in the form of denials of basic human rights of manual scavengers needs to be nullified.
The court also directed the State to file a detailed report on the steps initiated to prevent manual scavenging in every district.
As the govt survey on manual scavengers gets delayed, Ritwika Mitra visits some villages in UP to find that poverty, lack of options and systemic apathy make scores of people pick human excreta.