One of the worst issues in India is the manual scavenging issue, where incorporating robotic inventions would be a boon for the long-sufferings where many lost their lives due to manual scavenging issues in India.
It is still there even after 27 years of passing a law against manual scavenging in India and 73 years of Independence.
Laws passed Against manual scavenging
Firstly, a law was passed for the very first time against scavenging manually in 1993 and was amended two times in 2013 and 2020. But experts say that the laws failed to take care of the problem from the ground level in all the three times it was passed.
Robotic inventions contributing to machine scavenging in India
Bandicoot by Kerala youngsters
Firstly, the Bandicoot was the first robot in the case of machine scavenging in India. Bandicoot has two units. One is the robot with four legs and an arm that enters the manhole and takes care of the cleaning. The other unit is the control panel unit which stays out and operates the robot with human intervention.
The robotic unit has a waterproof, night-vision camera. It can capture 4K resolution images and videos in real-time. It can collect 18 litres of waste at once. There are sensors that analyze the temperature-humidity, chemicals present, and dimensions of the manhole, etc.
SEPoy by IIT Madras students
Secondly, SEPoy has a camera fixed in it which allows us to see through the canal. The thick sludge is cut with high-velocity cutters. Once the sledge is broken, the waste can be sucked out of the tank using a vacuum pump that is fitted onto the robot
Sewer Croc from SANITOR
It consists of a robotic arm connected to a hose. Furthermore, it jets water against the sludge at a very high speed and breaks the silt. Then the broken silt is directed through another manhole which is captured and taken out by Grabber. A camera is then sent inside to ensure the manhole is clean.
Steps taken by the government against inventions manual scavenging India.
In November 2020, the Centre has promised to eradicate manual scavenging by august of 2021 as a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
In February 2021, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), came forward to buy 37 high tech machines regarding sewage management. They are
- 24 machines for cleaning sewers in compact pipes and narrow ones
- 7 quick response machines for urgent work like a choke
- 3 for 600mm high capacity main sewer cleaning and
- 3 for sludge and silt dewatering for septic tank cleaning etc.
BMC added that it has allocated 2000 crores for up-gradation of the existing sewage treatment plant(STP)
The need of the hour regarding manual scavenging
With all the amenities in hand, there arise big questions like, who will operate the machines? who will be responsible for any repair in the machine? whether there are any training centers? But still, there is hope that things will change soon.
While implementing in real time, there must be proper channeling. Unless which any law or activity will not cross the pass mark.