CSE - PSU/TSU team in U.P. is committed to ensure FSSM operations (being integral to sanitation and an essential service) are not hindered during this COVID lockdown. CSE has done a quick status check of FSSM activities during this COVID lockdown. While the Govt. owned trucks have got curfew passes with ease, the private operators (not registered with ULBs in many cities) have had problems obtaining these passes. In the wake of COVID-19, people were sceptical to call for a desludging service and also the operators feared police to come out on roads despite sanitation being considered as an essential service.
The situation was observed in Lucknow, Bijnor, Prayagraj, Agra, Unnao where CSE had reached out to all the private desludgers. Many such private operators (Lucknow and Bijnor) had also reached out to CSE for issue of curfew passes. Water programme's PSU team at Lucknow and TSU team at Bijnor and Chunar have raised the issue with Municipal Commissioners, DoUD Officials and DMs at appropriate level and is ensuring that these operators get recognized and get necessary curfew passes along with appropriate protective gears to operate successfully during COVID as well.
CSE is monitoring and flagging the situation on-ground and ensure sanitation activities continue, payment of salaries to sanitation workers, provision of personal protective equipments (PPEs) and CPCB guidelines for managing waste from quarantine facilities are ensured. Although CSE team was able to ensure curfew passes in select cities based on contacts with desludgers and state / city level official. This issue needs to be addressed across the state. CSE is also working with appropriate authority like Sanitation Workers Commission to address such issues