Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Labour Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

3 More UP Manual Scavengers Dead After Inhaling Toxic Fumes

Three young labourers employed at a house construction site in Kanpur died after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning an unused septic tank without any protective gear.

Abdul Alim Jafri 20 Sep 2022

Manual Scavengers
Representational Image. 


Lucknow: Three young labourers employed at a house construction site in Barra, in Malviya Bihar of Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district, died around Sunday noon after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning an unused septic tank without any protective gear. 

After one of the workers entered the tank and fell unconscious, another went inside to save him but lost consciousness as well. Finally, the third one entered the tank to save his co-workers but met the same fate—all three ended up suffocating to death.

The deceased labourers, the sole breadwinners of their families, have been identified as Amit Kumar (25), a resident of Dhamna village; Ankit Pal (22), a resident of Bidhnoo’s Kathogar village and Shiva Tiwari (25), a resident of Dharhara village of the district.

According to Govind Nagar assistant commissioner of police Vikas Pandey, the labourers died after inhaling poisonous gases in the tank. “When all the labourers fainted inside the tank, the police were called in and the three were pulled out with the help of the State Disaster Response Force and Central Industrial Security Force. They were rushed to a hospital where they were declared brought dead. The cause of death was apparently asphyxiation and inhalation of poisonous gases,” he informed Newsclick. 

Pandey added that “action will be taken against the building owner and contractor after registering an FIR” on the basis of a complaint by the families of the deceased. “The accused will be booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and violation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.”

In May, two sanitation workers died of suffocation after entering manholes in separate incidents in UP. Two months later in July, two brothers died after allegedly inhaling toxic gases while cleaning the tank of a sewage treatment plant at Awas Vikas Colony, Kushinagar. The duo was hired by a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and forced to clean the tank without any safety equipment. 
  
At least, 347 sanitation workers died in the country in the last five years with the highest number of deaths recorded in UP, the Centre had informed the Lok Sabha last month. Responding to a query raised by BJP MPs Subrat Pathak and Manoj Tiwari, Union minister of social justice and empowerment Virendra Kumar said, “The government takes a serious cognisance of the deaths occurring due to hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.”

The Centre also provided data on the year-wise deaths of manual scavengers: the highest number of deaths at 116 was reported in 2019, followed by 92 in 2017.

The data also showed a breakdown of the reported deaths in the states and Union Territories in the last five years with UP at the top (51), followed by Tamil Nadu (48) and Delhi (44) at third. In 2019, 26 septic tank workers died in UP, the highest in the country.

Manual scavenging, banned under the 2013 Act, continues with the employment of workers mainly from Dalit subcastes. Further, sanitation workers are often not provided with mandatory safety gear, leading to injuries or death caused by inhalation of toxic fumes.

Courtesy: Newsclick

3 More UP Manual Scavengers Dead After Inhaling Toxic Fumes

Three young labourers employed at a house construction site in Kanpur died after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning an unused septic tank without any protective gear.

Manual Scavengers
Representational Image. 


Lucknow: Three young labourers employed at a house construction site in Barra, in Malviya Bihar of Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district, died around Sunday noon after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning an unused septic tank without any protective gear. 

After one of the workers entered the tank and fell unconscious, another went inside to save him but lost consciousness as well. Finally, the third one entered the tank to save his co-workers but met the same fate—all three ended up suffocating to death.

The deceased labourers, the sole breadwinners of their families, have been identified as Amit Kumar (25), a resident of Dhamna village; Ankit Pal (22), a resident of Bidhnoo’s Kathogar village and Shiva Tiwari (25), a resident of Dharhara village of the district.

According to Govind Nagar assistant commissioner of police Vikas Pandey, the labourers died after inhaling poisonous gases in the tank. “When all the labourers fainted inside the tank, the police were called in and the three were pulled out with the help of the State Disaster Response Force and Central Industrial Security Force. They were rushed to a hospital where they were declared brought dead. The cause of death was apparently asphyxiation and inhalation of poisonous gases,” he informed Newsclick. 

Pandey added that “action will be taken against the building owner and contractor after registering an FIR” on the basis of a complaint by the families of the deceased. “The accused will be booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and violation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.”

In May, two sanitation workers died of suffocation after entering manholes in separate incidents in UP. Two months later in July, two brothers died after allegedly inhaling toxic gases while cleaning the tank of a sewage treatment plant at Awas Vikas Colony, Kushinagar. The duo was hired by a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and forced to clean the tank without any safety equipment. 
  
At least, 347 sanitation workers died in the country in the last five years with the highest number of deaths recorded in UP, the Centre had informed the Lok Sabha last month. Responding to a query raised by BJP MPs Subrat Pathak and Manoj Tiwari, Union minister of social justice and empowerment Virendra Kumar said, “The government takes a serious cognisance of the deaths occurring due to hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.”

The Centre also provided data on the year-wise deaths of manual scavengers: the highest number of deaths at 116 was reported in 2019, followed by 92 in 2017.

The data also showed a breakdown of the reported deaths in the states and Union Territories in the last five years with UP at the top (51), followed by Tamil Nadu (48) and Delhi (44) at third. In 2019, 26 septic tank workers died in UP, the highest in the country.

Manual scavenging, banned under the 2013 Act, continues with the employment of workers mainly from Dalit subcastes. Further, sanitation workers are often not provided with mandatory safety gear, leading to injuries or death caused by inhalation of toxic fumes.

Courtesy: Newsclick

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives