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Equipment to replace workers in removing blocks in drainage

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RELIEF IN SIGHT: Workers entering drainage to remove blocks will become a thing of the past when the Coimbatore Corporation buys more of the latest equipment that can do this task. —
RELIEF IN SIGHT: Workers entering drainage to remove blocks will become a thing of the past when the Coimbatore Corporation buys more of the latest equipment that can do this task. —

K.V. Prasad

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore Corporation plans to buy more equipment to remove blocks in the underground drainage, so that conservancy workers need not get into manholes across the city. This decision follows the High Court banning human entry into drainage.

The Corporation already has one vehicle-mounted jetting-cum-suction machine that costs Rs.33 lakh. The lorry on which the equipment is mounted can hold 5,000 litres of water that is used for high-pressure flushing of blocks in the lines.

According to Mayor R. Venkatachalam, the equipment’s trial run for some months has shown good results. But, one machine is not enough for the entire city.

“We want to have one for each of the four wards. The proposal to buy three more equipment will be placed before the Health Committee of the Corporation and then before the Council for approval,” he says.

The Corporation says there are 4,393 manholes across the city. And, blocks occur frequently because of people dumping plastics and other forms of waste into the drainage.

Thirty-eight of the 72 wards are yet to get underground drainage. When this is provided for the entire city under a new scheme, the Corporation will certainly need the block removing equipment for all the four zones.

From the days of getting into the drainage and poking at blocks with bamboo sticks, workers will need to just open the manhole lid and put the hose of the equipment into the waste water line.

A pump will direct water at a high force at the block and remove it completely to restore sewage in half-an-hour. This will reduce the agony for the workers who have to work the whole day in the drainage for to remove the block manually. An official source in the Corporation says a Pune-based company manufactures this equipment and more than 100 of these have been booked by the civic body in Bangalore city.

Some sections in the Coimbatore Corporation that criticised the purchase of the equipment under trial are now demanding more after seeing the benefits.

“Following the court order, our aim now is to ensure that the workers are not engaged in manual removal of blocks in the drainage, risking their lives,” says the Mayor.

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