Aimed at reducing manual scavenging in the city, a fleet of 200 sewer cleaning machines was flagged off by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday, a government statement said.
At an event organised by the Delhi Jal Board, Mr. Kejriwal said Delhi had become the first State in the country to roll-out such machines to help put an end to the practice of manual cleaning of sewers.
These 200 machines would be handed over to family members of those who have died while cleaning drains or septic tanks, sanitation workers engaged in manual scavenging currently and those from the Scheduled Caste communities.
The government will assist the beneficiaries in securing loans for the machines, which the beneficiaries will own.
The first batch of 50 machines were being handed over to beneficiaries, government officials said. Mr. Kejriwal said the government would be helping the beneficiaries become entrepreneurs.
SC/ST Welfare Minister Rajender Pal Gautam said the government was committed to upliftment of the community.
The machines will enable cleaning up to 30 feet underground, with sewerage and silt being brought out with a trolley.