The BMC has published a notice informing residents that cesspool vehicles and CP lorries are available in each of Mumbai’s 24 wards for the cleaning of septic tanks in public or private premises. The notice contains contact details of assistant engineers in-charge of the services, who can be contacted for the purpose.
“We have put out the notice to create public awareness about the topic. The machines are available in each ward but people hardly know about them. So they hire daily wage labourers to clean septic tanks, which is an illegal practice and in many cases has led to accidents,” said Ashok Yamgar, chief engineer (SWM).
The notice comes following the death of three daily wage labourers, who were hired to clean a septic tank in a housing society in Govandi last month. Police had registered an accidental death report. According to the Safai Kamgaar Andolan, in 2019, Mumbai recorded at least 12 deaths due to illegal cleaning of septic tanks by unskilled labourers.
The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, prohibits use of any individual for manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of or otherwise handling in any manner, human excreta till its disposal.
On May 3, three labourers choked to death while cleaning a septic tank in Nallasopara. A case of negligence was registered against the supervisor and the builder for not providing adequate safety gear.
In February 2017, three labourers suffocated to death after they entered a septic tank of a residential society in Malvani.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines