Shivamogga: Only a month after the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched a challenge to innovate technology and business solutions to clean urban sewers without human entry, two persons, employed as manual scavengers, were asphyxiated to death in a manhole on N T Road here on August 6.
The deceased Venkatesh (35) and Anjini (15), hailing from Davanagere, were employed by a contractor to clean a manhole at Nagehalli Honda.
The incident came to light at 2:40 PM on Monday. "The fire department received an emergency call that two workers who had entered a manhole had not surfaced. The personnel were dispatched to rescue the victims. On arrival, we found that they both were unresponsive. The bodies have been recovered from the manhole," District Fire Officer Ashok Kumar B R said.
Even though the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, prohibits employing people for the inhuman practice of manual scavenging, it continues unabated. In many places neither contractors nor municipalities provide proper safety equipment and medical support mandated by the law.
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