Ghaziabad: Five sanitation workers have died while cleaning a sewer in Nandgram area of Ghaziabad on Thursday. More details are awaited as to what exactly happened.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced financial assistance Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the five deceased.

In June, seven people died in Gujarat’s Vadodara while cleaning a septic tank. They died of suffocation after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning the septic tank outside a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi taluk. The victims included four sanitation workers and three hotel employees.

Hassan Abbas Bhoraniya, the owner of the hotel located 30 kilometres from Vadodara city, was booked under charges of culpable homicide and causing death due to negligence. The case was registered at the Dabhoi Police station.

Only last month, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale told Rajya Sabha that 88 people have died in the last three years while cleaning sewers and septic tanks across the country. According to the data presented by him, Delhi, where 18 people have died, the registered maximum number of deaths.

Meanwhile, the data by the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK), the body set up by an act of Parliament for the welfare of the sanitation workers. According to the NCSK in September, 2018, 123 people involved in manual scavenging had lost their lives at work since January 2017 and one safai karamchari had died every five days between January, 2017 and September, 2018.

As reported by a leading daily, the officials involved in the process of collating the data for NCSK had admitted that the number of death could be an under-estimation as no official data was available for these deaths.

The data collected by the Safai Karamchari Andolan for the same period showed that more than 180 manual scavengers had died while at work.

The data obtained by SKA for the year 2017-2018 also showed that the average age of deceased safai karamcharis was around 32 years, indicating that most families lost their sole breadwinner.