Manual scavenging: Quality Council of India to hold inspection in Ludhiana

A team of the Quality Council of India is expected to reach Ludhiana on Wednesday for a third-party inspection under the Safai Mitra Suraksha Challenge - 2021
The Quality Council of India team will also interact with sewer men, including those working with private contractors, about the working conditions. (HT FIle Photo)
The Quality Council of India team will also interact with sewer men, including those working with private contractors, about the working conditions. (HT FIle Photo)
Updated on Oct 13, 2021 02:22 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Ludhiana

At a time when the Punjab State Safai Karamchari Commission has moved the Punjab and Haryana high court over the alleged incident of manual scavenging in the city, a team of the Quality Council of India (QCI) will be conducting the third-party inspection under the Safai Mitra Suraksha Challenge - 2021 in the city. The team is expected to reach the city on Wednesday.

Apart from conducting field inspections, the team will also inspect the equipment and machinery available with the MC to stop manual scavenging and cleaning of sewer lines. The team will also interact with sewer men, including those working with private contractors, about the working conditions/environment.

Having an eye on the first prize of 12 crore under the challenge (for cities with over 10 lakh population), the MC had participated in the challenge launched by the Union government last year. The aim of the challenge is to stop manual scavenging and to ensure proper machinery/equipment with MCs for cleaning the sewer lines. Complaint number 14420 has also been launched by the government at the national level to deal with the complaints of clogged sewer lines and manual scavenging.

MC officials said 18 jetting machines and 24 desilt machines had been purchased in the past and a tender to purchase over 1,600 safety kits had also matured wherein gumboots, cover all suits, etc, will be provided to over 1700 sewer men employed by the MC. Gas detectors are also being purchased for the safety of sewer men.

MC executive engineer Ranbir Singh said around 100 safety kits were already available with the department and over 1,600 are being purchased. “All of these will not be provided to the staff at once and only a few will be provided at each sub-zone as per the needs, while the other will be kept in the stores for future use.

Earlier in September, chairman of the Punjab State Safai Karamchari Commission Geja Ram Valmiki had moved the high court seeking action against MC officials concerned over the alleged incident of manual scavenging in the Jugiana area.

The chairman claimed that he had caught MC sewer men involved in manual scavenging in Jugiana on July 16. The MC officials, however, alleged that manual scavenging was banned, and the chairman forced the sewer men to enter the manhole for implicating MC staffers. The video of the incident was also available, claimed the MC officials.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021