Manual scavenging banned totally: BWSSB

After a dressing down by the High Court Division Bench, headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has said that it had completely banned manual scavenging and had given strict instructions to the sanitary workers not to enter the manholes without proper gears.

In an attempt to educate drivers and sanitary workers attached to jetting machines, the BWSSB will organise a workshop on Monday on safety measures.

Despite clear instructions, even today there are incidents where a sanitary worker enters the manhole without taking any precautionary measure.

A BWSSB official said that many workers had been violating the instructions. Many of them feel that wearing the uniform and the gears were uncomfortable.

BWSSB’s Engineer-In-Chief T Venkataraju said that if it was necessary for a worker to enter the manhole, he had to take prior permission from the assistant engineer concerned.

“We have provided each worker with the required uniform and gear. We have told them that they must not come in direct contact with faecal elements and wearing gears were made compulsory to protect them. Workers have completely stopped getting into the wet wells for cleaning purpose, we will further keep a watch on these activities,” he added.

BWSSB has already started desilting work and from August with the help of new jetting machines, manholes in old city municipal areas will also be desilted. 

Earlier, the Board took up this work during crisis management, but now desilting work will be taken up as a precautionary measure, said Venkataraju.

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