No more manual sewer cleaning in Noida, warns administration
Noida civic body has introduced a series of measures intended to safeguard its employees, including mandating engineers to ensure machines are used to execute tasks related to sanitation.noida Updated: Sep 22, 2017 23:31 IST
The Noida Authority finally got its act together on Friday, a day after three sanitation employees died while cleaning a clogged sewer in Sector 110.
The civic body has introduced a series of measures intended to safeguard its employees, including mandating engineers to ensure machines are used to execute tasks related to sanitation. Contractors have been told to submit affidavits stating no worker will be made to clean sewers manually. A public notice asking residents to contact it for cleaning residential sewage tanks will also be issued.
“As manual cleaning of sewers is banned in Noida, we had issued standing orders that our staffers and contractors should clean drains only with machines. Sanitation employees were not allowed to risk their lives for the purpose. Now, we will ask contractors to submit affidavits stating they won’t allow manual cleaning of sewers,” said Noida Authority senior project engineer Samakant Shrivastava.
Around 50 small contractors have been put in charge of sewer-cleaning duties across Noida. As per the civic body’s guidelines, all the officials concerned – the junior engineer, the assistant project engineer and the private contractor – will have to be present at the site while machines unclog the drain. Besides monitoring the work, they will be required to ensure that no sanitation employee decides to do it manually. “Why should anybody physically clean drains when we have four to five big sewer machines and 10 smaller ones? Thursday’s incident occurred because a sanitation employee slipped into a clogged sewer while trying to unclog it manually. The other two fell into it while trying to help him,” said Shrivastava.
The civic body does not want to take any chances with private sewage tanks either. “We will issue a public notice telling residents to refrain from manually cleaning the sewage tanks on their premises. They only have to inform us, and we will resolve the issue with the help of machines,” said Noida Authority additional chief executive officer RK Mishra.
The civic body has constituted a committee headed by RK Singh, its officer on special duty, to probe the incident. The panel will submit its report in seven days.
Meanwhile, police were yet to register a case in this regard. “Though Noida Authority officials submitted an application, the family members of the three deceased are yet to file a complaint. We are trying to nab Somveer, the contractor, who is absconding. He has switched off his phone,” said Shahwez Khan, SHO of the Phase-II police station.
According to a witness, Somveer was present at the scene of the incident. However, he fled soon after the police arrived.