340 sewer cleaning deaths in past 5 years: Government

U.P. tops list with 52 deaths

February 02, 2021 08:56 pm | Updated 08:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A Metrowater contract sewage cleaner entering a sewer hole. File

A Metrowater contract sewage cleaner entering a sewer hole. File

The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha, in response to a question about manual scavengers, that 340 people had died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks in the past five years.

In the five years till December 31, 2020, a total of 340 deaths due to manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks were recorded in 19 States and Union Territories, with Uttar Pradesh (52), Tamil Nadu (43) and Delhi (36) topping the list. Maharashtra had 34 such deaths, while Haryana and Gujarat had 31 each, the data showed.

In response to the question by Latur MP Sudhakar Tukaram Shrangare, the Ministry said a national policy for mechanised sanitation ecosystem had been formulated, which included professional training for mechanised cleaning of sewers and setting up a sanitation response unit in each municipality.

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