LUCKNOW || In order to gradually phase out the archaic practice of manual scavenging, with changing times now human scavengers will be replaced by robots that are being called Bandicoots, created to take up the challenging job of cleaning manholes. In the first phase of bringing these robots into action, five of them have already been brought into the system.
The first five were dedicated to the people by the minister for urban development Ashutosh Tandon and Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia this week. The Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) will be working in close coordination two private companies as a pilot project under the Smart Cities Mission.
LMC officials are quoted saying the job of cleaning of drains has been given to the Indian firm Suez – a French-based utility company that focuses on water treatment and waste management and the Kerala based start-up Genrobotics considered the brainchild behind Bandicoot.
The unique coming together will ensure complete elimination of human intervention in the cleaning of manholes.
If the new age model is successful then it will be expanded further. The system has been run successfully In states across India like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Haryana and Punjab.
With serious health hazards and deaths reported courtesy manual scavenging across the country, the act of Manual scavenging was banned 26 years ago after the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 came into force.
Over the past several decades, a number of studies have shown that repeated handling of human excreta may lead to respiratory and skin diseases along with anomalies like anaemia, jaundice, trachoma, and carbon monoxide poisoning.