Mumbai: Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited's (BPCL) Mumbai Refinery has embarked upon a project to energise the lives of 'Safai Karmacharis' of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) M-West Ward by providing two Robotic Manhole Cleaning machines. The project under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) umbrella was executed with the support of MCGM's Assistant Municipal Commissioner (M-West Ward) Dr Prithviraj C Chauhan and M/s. Genrobotic Innovations Private Limited, a leading robotic start-up funded under BPCL start-up scheme.
At a function held on November 21, 2019, at MCGM-M Ward, Chembur, Mumbai Refinery's Executive Director (Incharge) CJ Iyer presented two Bandicoot Robots (V2.0) to Dr Prithviraj C Chauhan in the presence of Executive Director HR (MR & JVRs) RR Nair, Chief General Manager (HR) Kurian Parambi, General Manager (Admin.) E Rozario and other senior BPCL and MCGM officials. Besides robotic cleaning of manholes, the project includes skilling of the MCGM M-West Ward Safai Karmacharis to use the robots through training and a medical camp and awareness session for the Safai Karmacharis.
The project aims to leverage technology in eliminating manual cleaning of manholes. It will help in reducing health hazards for Safai Karmacharis, since manual cleaning of manholes is a major health concern as on date. Safai Karmacharis are engaged in handling all types of waste on a day-to-day basis across the value chain which includes cleaning man-holes, sewer networks, etc.
Apart from the social stigma attached to their profession, these Safai Karmacharis are exposed to health hazards due to encountering harmful gases such as methane and hydrogen sulphide while cleaning manholes which is dangerous. This often leads to being vulnerable to various health hazards leading to prolonged illness.
Dr Chauhan said "MCGM M Ward has always been supported by BPCL through CSR activities. This Robotic machine will help our Safai Karmacharis to be safe and is beneficial for the Corporation."
Iyer during his address said "There are three benefits in the Robotic manhole cleaning, first is the safety of the Safai Karmacharis, second is their health and third is the speed of cleaning. The Robotic machine would do the cleaning faster."
The technological alternative is a way forward to overcome the challenges posed by manual cleaning of manholes.
Bharat Petroleum once more demonstrates its commitment to Energizing Lives of the Communities by presenting the two Bandicoot Robots as part of its CSR initiatives.
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