Riddhi Mhatre / News Anchor & Assistant Producer / Mumbai: Sewer Cleaning: On an average, one sewer cleaner dies every five days in India. Despite the order of the court, there is no mechanization or automation in the cleaning work. This is a very bad thing. The incident of the death of the sanitation workers who kept the world clean by putting their hands in the dirt is heart-wrenching. But why are we still ignoring it? Why are we still lagging behind in the use of technology? This issue is being raised again and again for so many years but the situation was like this. The question arises that why this game is being played with the lives of thousands of employees every day while they are selflessly doing the work of cleanliness for all of us.
In most countries of the world, sewer cleaning is now fully mechanized and automated. But in India, this cleaning of sewers is still going on in the old way. Many of us must have shared a video on our Facebook wall 2-4 years ago in which a sweeper is coming out cleaning the drain. Seeing such pictures or videos of laborers, we feel suffocated. So how are these workers actually doing this work? In fact, when will the government stop this humiliation of workers as human beings?
If proper and adequate machinery is brought in the country then their problem will also end. But no. The sewage and sewage treatment system in our country is still in the old fashioned way. It has not been mechanized or automated despite court orders. From the state to the central government, it is clear that the state and central governments are turning a blind eye to the cost of introducing new technologies and machines in the waste management system, especially in cleaning sewers. That is why we are still doing this deadly act of human beings.
Our country which is leading in all fields in the world and its states are advanced but still so backward in terms of drainage? Check out the sewage industry in Malaysia now! After continuous research, those people keep replacing many old devices there. The government there has given subsidy on the equipment used in sewage production. They regularly conduct surveys, educate people and also tell them what they should do to keep their septic tanks clean.
In Malaysia, no sanitation workers go into septic tanks anymore. If the machine doesn’t clean it, they build a new septic tank. A similar process is underway in Japan and Singapore. Years ago, a startup called Zen Robotics created a 40kg manhole-cleaning robot that takes 20 minutes to do its cleaning job. It is used more in South India. But not in a structured way.
The common people should now raise their voice in favor of the employees regarding the cleaning of the drain. Only then will the death of laborers in the sewer stop. Otherwise, watching workers crawl through clogged drains and dirt-covered workers, and reading death reports, “Oh, poor thing!” One has to say so and one has to be satisfied by saying only that.