Chennai, Feb 4 (IANS): Coimbatore corporation has cancelled the contract of Namma Toilet near Gandhipuram bus stand after an elderly person complained that he was forced to clean the septic tank without safety gear by the contractor.
On Friday, when the contractor forced an elderly person to clean the septic tank bare hands, he suffered cuts on his hands due to a piece of broken glass bottle in the tank.
Speaking to IANS, an employee who does not want to be named said: "The contractor used to force us to clean the septic tank of the corporation toilet with bare hands. Several anti-social elements use these toilets to drink alcohol and then throw the bottles in the toilet, following which the septic tank gets clogged. Then the contractor forces us to clean it. This incident came to light as the contractor employed a person from outside who complained to the police."
Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation Deputy Commissioner, Dr. M. Sharmila while speaking to media persons said that the contract of the toilet has already been cancelled and a notice issued to the contractor.
Practice to remove human excreta using bare hands is banned across the country by the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (PEMSR) Act, 2013.
Sources in Coimbatore told IANS that several individuals and institutions have been employing people to clean septic tanks and sewers using humans.
The Coimbatore corporation has also imposed a fine of Rs 15 lakh on any institutions or people if anyone loses their life while being employed as a manual scavenger.