Dirty Picture: 2 men die while cleaning septic tank in Coimbatore; raises alert against manual scavenging

In a tragic accident in Coimbatore, two men died while trying to clean a septic tank. The duo, unfortunately, inhaled the poisonous gas and fainted as they were not wearing any protective gear.

Manual scavengers

Manual scavengers died in coimbatore  |  Photo Credit: Times Now

Tamil Nadu: In a tragic accident in Coimbatore, two men died while trying to clean a septic tank. The deceased were identified as Pandidurai and Murugan from Namachivaayam colony. The duo tried to enter the septic tank, unfortunately, inhaled the poisonous gas and fainted as they were not wearing any protective gear.

The Police were able to retrieve their bodies and have initiated an investigation. Murugan, aged 37, and his brother Pandidurai, aged 29, died due to asphyxiation while unclogging an underground drainage system in a housing colony in Singanallur in Coimbatore.

Murugan had been working as a sanitary worker in the Corporation of Coimbatore for the last five years. Since the corporation employees, involved in sanitation works, found it difficult to meet their basic needs – Murugan did some odd jobs after his regular working hours in the afternoon.

This tragic incident happened when he was involved in one such job in Thirunagar colony in Singanallur along with his brother Pandidurai.

Murugan’s friend Suresh took them both for this job to clean a septic tank of a house in Thirunagar. It was found that they had not been provided with any safety equipment by the house owners. Upon realising that both of them were not able to communicate with Suresh, who was waiting outside, they informed the fire and rescue services.

In few minutes the rescue team brought both the men out. Though an ambulance reached the spot in a few minutes, the paramedic in the ambulance declared both the men dead.

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Tragic: 2 men die while trying to clean a septic tank in coimbatore. Manual scavenging still continues…

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2:02 PM – Jan 23, 2019

On Monday, Manhar Valibhai Zala, Chairperson of the National Commission for Manual Scavengers held a meeting in Chennai to announce that the accountability and status of the manual scavengers in Tamil Nadu needs to be evaluated soon to avoid the demands and backlash in meeting the expectations of Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993.

Tamil Nadu (among all states) has the highest number of deaths of manual scavengers. As per the current data available from 2011 census the majority of sanitary workers and manual scavengers in Tamil Nadu belong to the Scheduled Castes. Murugan and Pandidurai were also one among them.

Murugan’s wife Ayyammal was also a sanitary worker in CIT College, Coimbatore and married Murugan 11 years ago and the couple had two children – a girl (11) and a boy (7).

Pandidurai married one Keerthana five months ago. Ayyamal, in her statement, said that this law prohibiting manual scavenging remains only on papers since the Dalits in the society are not allowed to do any other job and hence their children might also be forced to do the same job.

[“source=timesnownews”]