Twelve people died in the city last year while cleaning septic tanks while no such death has been reported so far in the current year, the Delhi government has informed the Legislative Assembly. Five incidents where 12 people died while cleaning septic tanks were reported in 2017-18. None of the deceased were employees of municipal corporations or other civic bodies of the government, Urban Development minister Satyendra Jain said in a written reply last week.
Under Section 29(3) of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, district level vigilance committees have been formed for a survey of manual scavengers, he said.
Further, Delhi Jal Board(DJB) is preparing a standard operating procedure in this regard. Notifications have been issued for forming state-level monitoring committee and vigilance committees in the 11 districts by the Urban Development department.
The DJB has prepared Septage Management Regulation, 2018, for ensuring mechanised desilting of septic tanks. The Regulation after approval of the Delhi cabinet, will be tabled in the House before implementation.
Various agencies including the Public Works Department(PWD), New Delhi Municipal Council, and the three municipal corporations employ machines for desilting septic tanks, he stated in his reply. As per the reply, the desilting of drains under East Delhi Municipal Corporation is carried out through machines. The PWD ensures requisite precautions during cleaning of drains.