CM felicitates ‘Bandicoot’ team
It was the picture of a contract employee of the Kerala water authority, neck-deep in sewage in a manhole, which triggered a major change. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan who saw the picture in a vernacular daily asked water resources minister Mathew T Thomas and KWA managing director A Shainamol whether they could bring any change to the working .
A year later, S S Satheeshan, the man who was featured in the picture, demonstrated workings of ‘Bandicoot’, a machine to clean manholes. Satheeshan, along with other staff of KWA engaged in cleaning works, was invited when chief minister inaugurated the works on Monday. CM, water resources minister and KWA MD inspected the functioning of the machine which cleaned a manhole in the premises of Jalabhavan at Vellayambalam.
CM felicitated Genrobotics CEO M K Vimal Govind and team members behind the machine including Arun George, N P Nikhil, K Rashid, P Jalish, Afzal Muttikkal, E B Sreejith Babu, K Sujith and P K Vishnu.Genrobotics, which developed the machine and Kerala water authority innovation zone (KWIZ), which supported the project, provided training regarding operation of Bandicoot so that the employees can continue with the job without entering into the manhole.
CM said that the project is a model for the entire world. “I think people like Noushad, the Kozhikode-native who died while trying to rescue migrant labourers stuck in a manhole, have inspired the team at Genrobotics to develop such a machine,” CM said. Satheeshan (45) said that he was happy about the new machine as he no longer need to enter manholes to clean them and also it won’t cost his job.