HC to PWD: Why manual scavenging still being allowed?

Posted on Aug 11 2017 - 7:16pm by admin
Delhi government and PWD came under scrutiny in Delhi high court on Wednesday which demanded an explanation on why the agency still allows its private contractors to engage manual scavengers for desilting of drains.A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg expressed dismay that PWD allowed the banned activity of manual scavenging to be continued by its contractors and asked it why it was not putting an end to the activity .The court asked PWD to compile data on the number of manual scavengers being used by its contractors and also list steps being taken to deal with the problem. The court’s directions came after three sanitation workers died of asphyxiation while cleaning a drain in Delhi last week.

Meanwhile, the court pulled up Delhi government over alleged levelling and encroachment of the Kushak storm water drain under the Barapullah flyover, and ordered PWD to take immediate action to remove all encroachments and buses parked in the area.

Earlier, the PWD had assured court that work on Barapullah bridge would be finished by the end of June 2017, the department on Wednesday revised its time frame and extended it to December 31.

“Can you do one thing correctly? Can you set a timeline and stick to it?“ an unhappy bench said, also asking the municipal corporations why they haven’t furnished data on the number of safai karamchaaris employed by them.It directed the corporations to submit the information before the next date of hearing on August 16. During the hearing, a co urt commissioner appointed by the bench drew its attention to manual scavengers who, without proper equipment, were made to desilt drains opening into the Kushak drain.

The court’s directions came on a PIL initiated by it in 2012 on the issue of waterlogging in South Extension Part II and in which it had passed orders from time to time to the PWD to clear rubble from the Kushak nullah.

 http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=HC-to-PWD-Why-manual-scavenging-still-being-10082017004059

 

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