Pune Video: No Safety Gear Provided To Contractual Workers Hired To Clean Drains

Pune Video: No Safety Gear Provided To Contractual Workers Hired To Clean Drains

Dinkar Gojare, head of the drainage department, PMC, "We will look into the matter and instruct the contractor to provide the workers with all the required safety equipment."

Ankit ShuklaUpdated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 01:39 PM IST
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Pune Video: No Safety Gear Provided To Contractual Workers Hired To Clean Drains | Ankit Shukla

Pre-monsoon preparations are in full swing in Pune. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is working hard to clean up the drains across the city. However, the contractual workers hired for the cleaning process have been left to suffer at their own risk, as they have not been provided the safety equipment by the contractors. This was observed by social activist Raj Singh on Friday while he was passing near KEM Hospital in Rasta Peth.

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Speaking to The Free Press Journal, Singh said, "PMC is one of the richest civic bodies in India. They should have good technologies for cleaning the drains, instead of using the manual process. This is too risky; if any worker dies from suffocation or later develops health issues, who will be responsible? No one values the lives of common people. They have migrated from one state to another for survival. Taking advantage of this is not good. Authorities need to take action against the contractors."

"The Supreme Court last year directed the Central and State Governments to eradicate the practice of manual scavenging entirely. However, it's still not done. We have a huge amount of resources, but due to corrupt management, things are not being done," he added.

When The FPJ went to the site, a similar scene of workers working without any safety gear was observed. Akshay Kattimani (19), a native of Karnataka, said, "We have been manually cleaning the drains for the last 15 days. We have asked the contractor to provide us with proper safety gear, but we have not yet received it." "We go 3-4 feet down with the help of ladders, without safety belts. It is very tough to breathe due to the toxic gases inside the drain. Plastic bottles, wood logs and other waste materials are stuck inside it. We collect it, fill it in a plastic bag and later with our aide pull it outside," he added.

Another worker, Bhima Kattimani (47), said, "Our daily wages are also low. They have promised to pay us ₹800 per day for working at least 10 hours. We only have bad-quality gloves. No machinery has been provided to us; we are forced to do it manually. Toxic gases are dangerous, but due to illiteracy and for the survival of the family, we are forced to do so."

Meanwhile, the contractor, Sandeep Kale, dismissed the allegations. "We have provided them with all safety equipment. However, the workers do not follow and bring them to the site. We will look into the matter."

Dinkar Gojare, head of the drainage department, PMC, "We will look into the matter and instruct the contractor to provide the workers with all the required safety equipment."

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