More Investment Needed To Make Hazardous Cleaning Ops Safer: Govt

New Delhi: More investments are required for inducting better technologies and equipment for making hazardous cleaning operations safer, the Parliament was told on Tuesday.

“Under the Swacchata Udyami Yojana (SUY), this Ministry assists the sanitation workers to own mechanical cleaning equipment.”

“Under Central Sector Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS), the manual scavengers, sanitation workers, and their dependants are provided capital subsidy upto Rs five lakh lakh for procurement of instruments or vehicles for mechanised cleaning of sewers and septic tanks,” Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

Stressing the need for inducting better technologies and equipment, he said: “Although this is a state government subject, under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U), the government supplements the efforts of the state governments by providing central assistance covering the scientific management of solid wastes, decentralised composting by Bulk Waste Generators in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), setting-up of centralised composting plants, scientific landfilling and land remediation, management of plastic waste and the Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste in an integrated manner.”

He also informed the House that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs had launched a ‘Technology Challenge’ for identifying and promoting solutions for cleaning and maintenance of sewerage systems and septic tanks to eliminate need for human entry.

It had also launched ‘Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge’ across 246 cities (Municipal Corporation, state capitals and Smart Cities) to motivate ULBs for prevention of “hazardous cleaning” of sewer and septic tanks and promote mechanised cleaning, he said.