Govt launches 'challenge' to end manual scavenging

According to the ministry, the initiative is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who recently expressed a desire for a challenge to promote latest technologies to avoid human intervention in the cleaning of sewers and septic tanks. (DH File Photo)

With an aim of eliminating human entry into septic tanks and drains for cleaning, the ministry of housing and urban affairs has launched a 'technology challenge' seeking suitable solutions from individuals and NGOs.

According to the ministry, the initiative is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who recently expressed a desire for a challenge to promote latest technologies to avoid human intervention in cleaning of sewers and septic tanks in the country.

Thereafter, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri asked ministry officials to work out modalities of the challenge, an official said.

Ministry spokesman Rajeev Kumar Jain said, "Technology Challenge: Identifying solutions for cleaning of sewerage systems and septic tanks", which will be a part of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention to be held on October 2, will remain open till August 14.

"Elimination of human entry into sewer drains and cleaning of the septic tank is the ultimate goal of this challenge.

"Proposals have been invited by the ministry from interested innovators, individuals, consortium partners, companies, academic institutions, research and development centers, NGOs, and municipal bodies, to provide innovative technical solutions which eliminate the need for human entry into septic tanks and sewers," Jain said.

The ministry said that identification of technological as well as business innovations are among the objectives that have been flagged.

An official said that for evaluation and scrutiny of the technological solutions submitted by the participants, a jury will be constituted with experts from the MoHUA, faculty from IITs/IIMs and representatives of leading civil society groups.

"The proposals will be adopted for evaluation by the jury following broad criteria like the operational effectiveness of the technology, life of machinery, ease of use, Made in India, environmentally sustainable among others," the official said.

The official said the 'technology challenge' will be conducted for two separate categories - 'Technological solutions for cleaning and maintenance of sewerage systems that eliminate the need for human entry' and 'Technological solutions for cleaning and maintenance of septic tanks that eliminate the need for human entry'.

According to the ministry, officials are currently in process to decide the prize for winners of the challenge.

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Govt launches 'challenge' to end manual scavenging

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