PMRDA drafts guidelines for mechanical scavenging of sewers
Following the death of three workers while manually scavenging septic tanks of a housing society in Wagholi on October 21, the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) has initiated the process of drafting guidelines for mechanised scavenging
Following the death of three workers while manually scavenging septic tanks of a housing society in Wagholi on October 21, the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) has initiated the process of drafting guidelines for mechanised scavenging. The October incident was followed by another case on Friday when two workers while using mechanised procedure to clean sewage tank at an industrial unit of a multinational company (MNC) in Ranjangaon, fell into the tank and died due to suffocation.
Taking the two incidents seriously, PMRDA has expedited the process to prepare the draft. Once ready, the guidelines will be circulated among housing societies as well as industrial units to contact them and to use mechanical cleaners for septic tanks. The PMRDA fire brigade department officials said they have included some of the guidelines in the draft from standard operating procedures (SoPs) for cleaning of sewers and septic tanks issued by the Central Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
“It is tragic that we lost number of individuals while they were cleaning septic tanks, which consist of poisonous gases like methane. Hence, we are encouraging societies to use mechanical cleaning for septic tanks in their societies. We have prepared a draft for advisory and also guidelines for a safer way to clean up septic tanks,” said PMRDA commissioner Rahul Mahiwal.
The guidelines include use of mechanical devices from authorised agencies, barricade the area where cleaning is underway and ventilating the sewer line by opening all manholes on both sides of the working stretch for at least one hour prior to start of the work to ensure escape of toxic gases.
He said, “We are in the process of drafting guidelines on the lines of those available with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and will soon be available with the fire department, PMRDA.”
Mahiwal urged societies to contact PMRDA officials to get details and list of authorised agencies to clean septic tanks and sewers.
According to Devendra Potphode, chief fire officer, PMC and PMRDA, the planning authority has created draft guidelines and also issued an advisory which his department is to circulate and help get in touch with societies who need to clean septic tanks. “The guidelines are based on guidelines issued by the central government.”