Sewer Croc lends an arm to sewage workers

Robotic arm to swim in sewer lines and clean them of silt and blockages

Updated - December 18, 2019 12:05 am IST

Published - December 17, 2019 11:08 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Minister for Social Welfare Koppula Eshwar and others during the one-day regional workshop on elimination of manual scavenging in the city on Monday.

Minister for Social Welfare Koppula Eshwar and others during the one-day regional workshop on elimination of manual scavenging in the city on Monday.

‘Sewer Croc’ is the name given by Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) K.T. Rama Rao to the robotic arm developed by a Bengaluru-based company, which is likely to relieve sewage workers from the abhorrence of getting into manholes to clean them up.

Like a crocodile, it would swim the sewer lines, and clean them of silt and blockages, one of the designers Germiya Ongolu shared, while displaying the machine at an exhibition on Monday, on the sidelines of the Regional Workshop of Action Plan for Elimination of Manual Cleaning of Sewers and Septic Tanks organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Mr. Ongolu had been a scientist with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, before he quit the job and set up Ajanta Techno Solutions in Bengaluru along with his colleagues. Through the company, the group designs and develops equipment related to manhole cleaning with the brand name ‘Sanitor’.

‘Sewer Croc’ was launched by Mr. Rama Rao last year, when he christened the equipment after its appearance and job.

The robotic arm is connected to a hose and sent into the manhole, to jet water into the sewage at very high speeds and dislodge the silt. Then it directs the silt along the sewer line towards the next manhole, from where it is captured and taken out using ‘Grabber’, another tool.

A camera is then sent inside to capture the 360-degree images of the sewer lines, to ensure that they are cleaned of silt, Mr. Ongolu said.

A pilot project is on to test the equipment in a 2.5 kilometres stretch at S.R. Nagar, based on the success of which the HMWS&SB will replicate it at other locations.

Other equipment at the exhibition included sweeping machines, sanitary sludge handling systems, litter-pickers, and a mobile faecal sludge treatment unit.

Minister Koppula Eshwar who kick-started the workshop, urged all municipalities to deploy machinery to eradicate manual scavenging.

The Special Chief Secretary said that Telangana State has eradicated manual scavenging in all the cities. Director, Municipal Administration, T.K. Sridevi too attended the inaugural event of the workshop.

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