Apartments should have boards with procedure to clean STPs

Apartments should have boards with procedure to clean STPs

Apartments with septic tanks or Sewage Treatment Plants should display a warning board with procedures and precautions to be observed while cleaning them.

A decision to this effect was made when commission member Jagadish Hiremani held a meeting on Wednesday at the deputy commissioner's office. The meeting also decided that the warning board should mention the capacity of the STP.

The meeting was called after three labourers were choked to death while cleaning an STP at an apartment in Somasundarapalya in HSR Layout on Sunday.

Hiremani ordered to prepare a manual with procedures and precautions (for cleaning STPs) as a further way of ensuring that the officials and apartment owners had the information handy.

He asked to set up a Manual Cleaning Task Force - on the lines of the fire force - equipped with sucking and jutting machines used by the workers. He said the equipment should be kept in ward offices so that they can be used when the need arises.

A total of 202 manual scavengers are present within the city limits and a further 101 on the panchayat limits.

Deputy Commissioner V Shankar said the family of the three deceased labourers would get Rs 10 lakh compensation.

68 deaths recorded  

The state recorded 68 deaths of manual scavengers, 17 of which occurred in Bengaluru. None of those involved in the incidents have been convicted so far, despite the fact that manual scavenging deaths are a non-bailable offence. "If this is the case in Bengaluru, then imagine the situation in other places," Hiremani said.

Boralingaiah MB, deputy commissioner of police, south-east zone, said those involved could get out on bail since the cases were booked under the accidental death or negligence category.

Hiremani, however, ordered the police to make sure that the offenders are punished since the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers Act in 2013 makes such deaths punishable.

People should know that the authorities will not let anyone involved in the crime walk free, he insisted.

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