MYSURU: A pourakarmika was allegedly forced to get down into a clogged manhole to clear it at Thavarekatte village in Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s hometown on Wednesday.
A video showed Ganesh, a cleaning worker with Chamundi Hill gram panchayat on a temporary basis, standing chest deep in the overflowing manhole and dipping his head into the sewage water to locate the blockage and trying to clear it with his legs.
He was fully drenched and was wiping his face with his hands as people walked by covering their noses. An aged man was standing near the manhole to assist him.
The incident evoked sharp criticism with the pourakarmika association leaders demanding a thorough probe into it and action against those responsible.
Many residents took video of the incident, causing it to go viral on social media.
Ganesh told reporters that Chamundi Hill gram panchayat president S Geeta and PDO Anand forced him to do the banned work as the manhole was located right in front of her house. It was overflowing for the past few days causing a stink in the area. Also, he said that it was not the first time that he was asked to do the job.
Narayan, former chairman of State Safai Karmachari Commission, strongly condemned the incident and demanded action against the people responsible.
He said the incident proves that manual scavenging is prevalent not only in villages but in big cities too and that authorities have failed to check it.