Manual scavenging: Civic heads to give undertaking in writing

In pursuance of its earlier order that the Commissioners of the Corporations and the heads of the municipalities, will be personally held liable in case any manual scavenging activity is detected or any mishap occurs, the Madras High Court on Wednesday insisted that such authorities should file written undertaking that no manual scavenging would be permitted within their jurisdiction.
File photo
File photo


The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalau, while seeking the State to indicate its views on the suggestions made by the petitioner (Safai Karamchari Andolan), said: “The court may, ultimately, suggest such undertaking to be furnished by any Commissioner pertaining to a Corporation or head of the municipality when assuming office in future.”Noting that it is heartening that no further death of any safai karmachari is reported, the bench said: “The State should endeavour to obtain appropriate machines or improve the sewer lines. It will also be the responsibility of the heads of Corporations and of municipalities to ensure that no private person also indulges in any manual scavenging activity or engages any other in such regard, ” the bench stressed.

“The State’s template for critical guidelines to be issued in such regard should be in place by the time the matter appears next on November 10,” the bench added.

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