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Rain and floods claim 15 lives, cause destruction in Madhya Pradesh

The authorities have enlisted the help of the Army and called for helicopters to be used for rescuing people marooned by floods

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Flood (Representational Image.)Wikimedia

BHOPAL, August 20, 2016: Since Friday, fifteen people have died across Madhya Pradesh in the devastation caused by three days of continuous rain and resulting floods, including building collapses in Sagar and Satna districts, officials said on Saturday.

The authorities have enlisted the help of the Army and called for helicopters to be used for rescuing people marooned by floods.

Seven members of an artisan’s family died and three were seriously injured early on Saturday in Baniyani Ghat area of Rahatgarh in Sagar district when their house collapsed due to continuous rain, police said.

The collapse resulted in the death of Manu Rani (55), Vikas (18), Vipin (13), Sanjana (10), Kallu (30), Sarla (25) and Tamanna, who was one-and-a-half-years old.

The three injured are in a serious condition in a hospital.

In Maihar town in Satna district, a newly built, three-storey building with construction workers’ families living in it collapsed amid heavy rain on Saturday, burying many people under the rubble, police said.

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Four people have so far been pulled out of the rubble; many more are feared trapped and efforts are being made to rescue them, the police said.

The building was constructed by Madhya Pradesh Housing Board, a state government agency.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met reporters here and discussed the situation brought about by the rain and floods.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

He confirmed the incident in Satna and said a rescue and relief operation was underway.

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Rescue operations are also underway elsewhere in Satna, Rewa, Panna and other districts to save people trapped by floods, Chouhan said.

The government has also been setting up relief camps in safer places for people in flood-hit areas to find shelter in, he said. (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)