Dead in Sewage Tank at Pune Social Club: Two People Entered The Tank And Died

Dead in Sewage Tank at Pune Social Club

On Sunday, while cleaning a septic tank at a home in Injambakkam, within the jurisdiction of the Neelankarai police station, a 29-year-old man was asphyxiated and another was deemed critical.

Anbumani, the owner of a suction truck, was called upon by Rajan, a 65-year-old resident of Seshadri Avenue in Injambakkam, to clean up his septic tank. Muthukumar, 30, and Dravida Kathiravan, 29, both cleaners, drove the truck to the location. First, the two of them dug down 10 feet to get rid of the sewage in the tank, and then Kathiravan entered the tank. He passed out not even a minute after arriving. Mr. Muthukumar, who came to his aid, passed out as well. Mr. Rajan’s neighbors helped him pull them out, and they were sent to a private hospital immediately.

Kathiravan was pronounced deceased at the scene, and Mr. Muthukumar is in an extremely severe condition. It was in Government Royapettah Hospital where a postmortem examination of Kathiravan’s body was conducted. The police have charged Rajan and Anbumani with violating the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act and Indian Penal Code Section 304-A (Causing death due to negligence).

NGO Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA) reports that in the five years beginning in 2016, 55 people lost their lives owing to manual scavenging, with 12 of those deaths occurring in Chennai. In 2017, the government disclosed to the Rajya Sabha that over five years, 43 individuals in Tamil Nadu died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks. This number was second only to the 52 deaths reported in Uttar Pradesh.

Political will, according to social activists, is what’s needed to put an end to manual scavenging. There was a shift in policy following the passage of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act. Several higher courts, including the Supreme Court, had issued mandates against manual scavenging. Nevertheless, events like that did occur.

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A failure to recognize

It was recommended by A. Narayanan, director of the non-governmental organization Change India, that all sewage contractors and their lorries be licensed. Sewage collection and transfer to the nearest treatment plant were not to be performed by any unapproved contractors. The necessity for labor-intensive hand washing had been eliminated because everything was now automated.

A massive public education campaign should be launched by the government. Seven years have passed since the government first drafted the septage management strategy, but the plan has yet to be fully implemented. It detailed the measures that must be taken so that no workers can enter the septic tank. Mr. Narayanan remarked that the administration should ensure that all relevant parties are informed of the policy.

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