Chennai: Helpline no. launched to register complaints against workers cleaning sewage tanks without masks
Chennai: As a good step, the Union’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has set up a special 24 * 7 hotline number 14420 to register a complaint against the sewage workers cleaning sewer systems without wearing masks or other safety norms such as wearing Belts or gloves not to be followed.
The 24 * 7 hotline number is an extension of the ‘Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge’ previously launched by the ministry to mechanize the sewer and septic tank cleaning process in the country.
The helpline number operates 24/7 and is administered by the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
According to the Times of India report, an NGO said there are a total of 3,000 manual scavengers in eight cities in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu only has 426 of them. 45% of deaths from manual cleanup in the country are recorded in Tamil Nadu. In addition, more than 200 people died of suffocation while cleaning the sewer system.
A complaint can now be easily registered by residents when septic tank workers enter a manhole without masks, belts or gloves. Residents can also report any unauthorized entry into the tanks.
An official added that people who employ workers in unsafe conditions can face penalties following the manual scavengers ban and their 2013 Rehabilitation Act.
In 2018, Metrwater won third prize for developing machines to clean sewer systems that saved people from stepping into the manholes and risking their lives.