However, the Market Management Committee (mmc), which maintains the wholesale market under the aegis of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), said the workers were only clearing storm water drains, which are not connected to any underground sewerage system.
A small group of men were found pulling mud from a drain using buckets on the road in front of the wholesale flower market on Wednesday. While three entered the manhole without safety gear, a man stood outside to pick him up.
The activists then insisted that only machines should be used for the activity by the local bodies and the concerned authorities and the inclusion of people for the activity was banned. SamuelThe state coordinator of the Safai Karamcharis Andolan said that the employment of manual scavengers should be banned and their rehabilitation act Prohibits the entry of people into manholes or open drains to clean any kind of waste. “If they are just stormwater drains, how are solid and wet waste found in it, unless these are connected to an underground sewerage system,” he asked.
When contacted, CMDA Member Secretary Anshul Mishra said that the contractor has been warned. “The solid waste management wing of Koyambedu market had hired a contractor to clean the drains. The market is prone to flooding during monsoon. So for a month they have been working to block the drains and clean them,” he said. However, the contractor should follow the rules and he has been warned, he said.