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Last Updated : Nov 14, 2019 09:14 PM IST | Source: PTI

Noida: Sanitation workers clean sewage-filled drains without protective gear

Noida Authority officials, however, maintained they they have provided safety gears to all its workers.

Representative Image
Representative Image

Sanitation workers engaged by the Noida Authority here have allegedly been found cleaning sewage without safety gears like gloves and boots, in violation of a central law that prohibits manual scavenging in the country.

Pictures shared on social media purportedly showed sanitation workers cleaning drains carrying sewage, with locals claiming that the violations occurred in Garhi Kondli village in Sector 150 on Tuesday.

Noida Authority officials, however, maintained they they have provided safety gears to all its workers.

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"We have provided safety gears to all workers. It may have happened that these workers (working without gears) would have taken them off on their own for a brief period and got photographed during that time. Otherwise, we have given safety gears to all," Noida Authority's Senior Project Engineer (Public Health) S C Mishra told PTI.

City-based social activist Vikrant Tongad, who shared the purported pictures on Twitter, said he noticed the flagrant violation of the law when the pictures were being shared by the residents of Garhi Kondli village who were happy that "at last the drains were being cleaned".

"The sanitation work in villages like these is in poor condition. It was after several requests to the Noida Authority that drains got cleaned there but the condition in which the sanitation workers were working is violation of human rights," he told PTI.

"The sanitation workers were hired by a private contractor engaged by the authority for the work," he claimed.

The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, prohibits the employment of manual scavengers, the manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks without protective equipment and mechanical devices.

In May this year, two contractual workers had died after they got trapped underground and suffocated to death while laying a sewage line in Salarpur village in Sector 107.

A total of 814 sewer deaths have been reported in India since 1993 till July this year, with Uttar Pradesh being the third highest on the list recording 78 deaths, behind Tamil Nadu (206) and Gujarat (156), according to a data by the National Commission for Safai Karmacharis.

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First Published on Nov 14, 2019 08:43 pm
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