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Ladakh has suffered years of neglect, says Buddhist monk Bhikkhu Sanghasena

The meditation guru was speaking at a function where some 20 faith leaders of different religions took a pledge to convince people on proper sanitation and hygiene practices

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Suru Valley, Ladakh. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Leh, August 31, 2016: In Jammu And Kashmir, Ladakh region has suffered from years of neglect from the central government and ministers from Delhi come and make sweet promises only to forget, a top Buddhist monk has said.

Bhikkhu Sanghasena, founder and spiritual director of Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, made the remarks here on Tuesday evening in the presence of Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan.

“I really want central ministers of India to do something for Ladakh. Every time events are held here, ministers come and speak sweet, sweet things and make promises. However they end up doing nothing for Ladakh,” Sanghasena said.

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Citing poor air traffic network for Ladakh, Sanghasena said the government should prioritise good and cheaper connectivity for the strategic region that shares a border with China and Pakistan.”People in Ladakh are not economically empowered.

Mostly the tickets from Delhi to Ladakh and from here to Delhi are so high that it becomes difficult for us to afford (to travel). We do not have train and proper transport services. The only means to connect to rest of the world is

“People in Ladakh are not economically empowered. Mostly the tickets from Delhi to Ladakh and from here to Delhi are so high that it becomes difficult for us to afford (to travel). We do not have train and proper transport services. The only means to connect to rest of the world is aerial route. But their charges are so high,” he said.

Flights to Ladakh– a major tourist destination in India — operate from Delhi and Srinagar. And tickets any time of the year may cost between Rs 8,000 and 20,000 or even more during peak tourist season of July to September.

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The meditation guru was speaking at a function where some 20 faith leaders of different religions took a pledge to convince people on proper sanitation and hygiene practices.
Sanghasena, one of religious leaders to take the oath, urged the union minister to convey his greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The minister was in Ladakh to attend a two-day summit on government initiatives aimed at changing the mindset of people of Ladakh to adopt proper sanitation and hygiene.

The summit was organised by the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) in association with UNICEF India. WASH stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygeine campaign. (IANS)

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Delhi Government Working Towards Robotic Solutions For Cleaning Sewers, Septic Tanks

Robots to clean sewers, septic tanks in Delhi? Find it out here

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FILE - A visitor shakes hands with a humanoid robot at 2018 China International Robot Show in Shanghai (VOA)

In an attempt to fully eradicate manual scavenging from the Indian capital, the Delhi government is working towards robotic solutions for cleaning sewers and septic tanks.

To achieve this goal, Delhi Cabinet Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam convened a meeting with experts from IIT, Delhi Technological University (DTU), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and Delhi Cantonment Board among others to discuss the possibilities and the need of robotic solution to sewer cleaning task, the government said on Thursday.

The idea was inspired from a Robot named Bandicoot, developed by Kerala-based start-up Genrobotics, that has been commissioned by municipal bodies in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

About 80 manual scavengers have been trained in these states to operate the robots in a bid to offset the loss of livelihood.

Bandicoot, a semi-automatic robot, only requires a human operator to stand on the street near the manhole.

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It is a natural thing for man to become dependent on technology, and also addicted to it. Pixabay

“The machine with its many cameras, a robotic arm with 360 degree mobility, and a handy bucket to collect the waste does the work. The operator is only needed for navigation when the manhole is of non-standard size or there are multiple sewer lines below,” a statement said.

“The Delhi government has already taken up various efforts to stop the inhuman practice of manual scavenging and would soon introduce fully mechanised system to clean the sewage system and septic tanks. Still there is a need for robotic solutions for smaller lanes and by lanes where machines cannot go,” the Minister said.

During the meeting, experts from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) said the robot is not constructed for the condition of Delhi. So they suggested that the DJB approach the company for demonstration and feasibility to use such machine in Delhi.

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While some experts suggested usage of censors in the manhole to check the status of toxic gases, some others suggested a database control room for various sewer line related data and a Helpline number for the same.

“The DJB has been asked to constitute a committee for implementation of various methods to use robot and other type of technology. The government will ensure funds to DJB for this purpose,” the Minister added. (IANS)