Identifying and rehabilitating manual scavengers in Delhi and ensuring safety and training of sanitation workers who clean septic tanks, Delhi government’s SC/ST Minister Shri Raaj Kumar Anand on Friday held a preparedness review meeting with the officials of various departments. During this, he had an in-depth discussion with the officials on the subject of Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 being followed in Delhi, and took stock of the situation by seeking reports from all the districts. The meeting was also attended by DM, SDM, Delhi Police, Delhi Jal Board, Municipal Corporation, SC/ST Department and senior officers from various departments that are working on the operation of the Act from all the districts of Delhi.
In the meeting, the topic of identification and prevention of manual scavengers in Delhi and providing employment to people by training them was discussed. It was emphasized that all sanitation workers cleaning septic tanks in Delhi should be identified and trained prior to complying with the Act, as well as provided with safety equipment that can be used only when they engage in cleaning the septic tank. SC/ST Minister Shri Raaj Kumar Anand directed the concerned officers of Municipal Corporation, DJB and DUSIB to take appropriate steps in this direction.
In the meeting, Shri Raaj Kumar Anand expressed concern over non-receipt of full compensation by the next of kin of victims in cases of death while cleaning sewers, under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013. It is notable that in a total of 105 such cases in Delhi, the relatives of 17 people have not yet been paid the full amount of compensation. On this issue, the Minister has given strict instructions to the District Magistrates of the concerned districts to provide immediate help to all these affected families.
The SC/ST Welfare Minister also directed the officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to conduct a survey to find the manual scavengers in Delhi today under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013. Municipal officials will locate manual scavengers in all the districts of Delhi so that the Delhi government can train them and eliminate the practice of manual scavenging completely. Along with this, the Cabinet Minister has instructed the officials of the concerned department to provide employment to 45 manual scavengers currently registered in three districts of Delhi by training them.
In the meeting, Shri Raaj Kumar Anand said that the safety of all the sanitation workers cleaning the septic tanks is the responsibility of the Delhi government. In view of inflation and necessity in today’s time, he directed the officials to explore the possibility of increasing the medical, accident and death insurance amount to Rs 10 lakh for all the sanitation workers cleaning septic tanks. It is notable that the upcoming meeting will be held soon regarding the application of the Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.