For some, it is the most nauseating thing to do; for others, it’s the only way to make a living. From drains and sewers to septic tanks and railway tracks, manual scavengers across the country are cleaning, carrying and disposing of human excreta and everything else that we flush down the toilet. They force themselves into choked sewers and septic tanks; hang on for hours, scooping out filth with bare hands while bearing the stench of sewage.
Manual scavenging was banned 27 years ago with the passing of the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993. In support of the Act and to banish any form of manual scavenging Department of Water Supply and Sanitation has initiated a unique initiative to eradicate the age-old practice of manual scavenging of sewerage systems in Punjab. ‘Bandicoot’, designed by Kerala’s Genrobotics has been procured by the Department for the district of Sri Muktsar Sahib.
Shri. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Cabinet Minister, Government of Punjab formally launched the initiative on the auspicious occasion of Maghi on 14th January 2020 in Sri Muktsar Sahib.
Bandicoot uses the combination of pneumatic and electric actuators thus ensuring a safe and easy way of cleaning manholes in a short time. Infrared cameras help in live internal inspection. The clogs and waste can be monitored in the screen fixed on the external stand which helps to control the robot in the right manner. The operator does not need to get into the manhole as the operation can be remotely controlled using a simple user interface.
Main features of the Robotic Machine:
- Human Compatible Robotic Arm
- Image processing
- High resolution camera with night vision
- Automatic delisting
- Smart user interface designed for common sewer man
- IP 68 waterproof.; can be used under water
- Poisonous gas sensing
- Smart operation assistant software
- Light weight carbon fiber body
- Corrosion free and long lasting
- Inbuilt surgical cleaning with four machine vision
- Detection and alert for harmful and toxic gases
- Artificial Intelligence for the processing of data
- Sewer line detection using Artificial Intelligence
- Can manure holes up to 15 meters depth
Benefits: As far as the benefits are concerned, it will curb the threats occurring to human life; it is less expensive than the traditional old machines; it makes it easy to clean sewer manholes in narrow lanes; it will help to stop delay in cleaning of sewerage manholes; the machine is available 24X7; and a large chunk of population can benefit from the Bandicoot in Sri Muktsar Sahib.
By – Sh. Prabhleen Singh Dhanju, Executive Engineer, Sri Muktsar Sahib