Delhi has become the country’s first city to employ sewer cleaning machines. With the aim to do away with manual scavenging, Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal flagged off a fleet of 200 sewer cleaning vehicles at an event organised by the Delhi Jai Board on February 28, 2019.
Some of the machines are said to be given to family members of sanitation workers who lost their lives while cleaning septic tanks and drains. At present, manual scavenging is carried out by embers of the Scheduled Caste communities. The government is also said to assist the above mentioned recipients to secure loans for the machines –– the government’s attempt to help the families flourish as ‘sani-entrepreneurs’. The first batch comprising 50 vehicles will be given to the beneficiaries.
These machines are equipped to clean up to 30 feet under the ground. The machines will make use of trolleys to collect waste material. According to SC/ST Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautum, the machines are introduce with the aim of empowering the community.
“It is a historic day for Delhi to start this initiative and ensuring safety and dignity of human life. These machines will put an end to the practice of sanitation workers entering manholes and septic tanks for cleaning,” said Kejriwal.
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