Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced a scheme under which people in Delhi's unauthorised colonies and villages can get their septic tanks cleaned free of cost.
The scheme will benefit around 45 lakh people in the national capital and will be a huge step towards curbing sewer deaths and cleaning the Yamuna river, he said.
There are around 1,800 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, of which 430 have sewer lines. In rest of the colonies, households have septic tanks and private parties charge hefty fees to clean them.
"Many times people die while cleaning these septic tanks as private companies do not follow the required safety standards," he said.
Such contractors or private companies work without licences and dump the septage in drains and vacant plots, contaminating the Yamuna river and groundwater, Kejriwal said.
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) will get the septic tanks cleaned for free, he said.
He said the government will hire an agency to clean the septic tanks in unauthorised colonies and a tender will be floated within a month.
DJB trucks will collect the septage from these septic tanks and take it to sewage treatment plants.
Kejriwal said any person can put in a request to get the septic tank cleaned by calling a phone number.
The DJB in a statement said 80 vehicles will be hired for collection, transportation and disposal of septage. Around 8 lakh litres of septage will be collected daily.