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Chronic ‘Accidents’: Deaths of Sewer/Septic Tank Workers, Delhi, 2017-2019

30 Sep 2019

PUDR today released its report on deaths of workers in Delhi while cleaning sewers/septic tanks over the last two years, titled Chronic ‘Accidents’: Deaths of Sewer/Septic Tank Workers, Delhi, 2017-2019.” The release marks the occasion of the declared ‘target’ year for the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (campaign) on 2 October 2019, coinciding with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and completion of five years of the Abhiyan.

The report details the findings of investigations conducted by PUDR into 6 incidents of deaths of sanitation workers in Delhi, while cleaning sewers/septic tanks between 2017 and 2019. The report draws attention to how the lack of provision in urban planning for maintenance of sewerage and septage systems, the lack of provision of safety gear and safety equipment or training for sewer/septic tank cleaners, and the lack of criminal prosecution of those guilty of sending them to do this hazardous work manually and without protection are significant patterns that mark all sewer deaths in the capital.

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