Sucking machines to be a reality soon in GPs

Move follows an HC directive to eradicate manual scavenging in the district

Sucking machines to be a reality soon in GPs

The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department has instructed the chief executive officers (CEO) of the Zilla Panchayats to purchase mechanised sucking machines for cleaning leach pits in all gram panchayats.

As per the orders, each gram panchayat is required to purchase  two to four sucking machines. The introduction of these machines will eradicate the practice of manual scavenging. The move comes in the wake of the direction by the High Court with regard to a Public Interest Litigation.

If the CEOs of the concerned zilla panchayats fail to abide by the orders, it will be considered as breach of law.

A maximum of four machines can be purchased if they have a capacity of 1,000 litres and a maximum of the two machines can be purchased, if they have a capacity of 3,000 litres, according to the order.

The funds for purchasing the same can be sought from the Thirteenth Finance Commission or the composite funds of the Zilla taluk and gram panchayats.

A district-level guidance committee will be set up, presided by the CEOs of the Zilla Panchayat that will take the initiative of purchasing, fixing and installing the sucking machines.

The committee will comprise the chief village accountant of the gram panchayat, zilla health officer and the executive officers of the respective gram panchayats.

The assistant secretary of gram panchayats who will act as the co-ordinator of the committee will obtain proposals from the executive officers of the taluk panchayat based on which a blue print will be prepared.

All the equipment have to be set in motion by the Chief Executive Officers, the order said.

Deadline set

The purchases have to be made within the maximum set deadline, as mentioned in the order.

The authorities should compulsorily make use of the machines available with the local establishments until purchases are made and if the CEO and EOs fail to abide by the rules then strict action will be taken, the order said.

The government, on March 1, had distributed pamphlets for the prohibition of manual scavenging especially by the members belonging to scheduled castes and tribes.

The order urged the need to abide by the Prevention of Atrocities on the Members belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act.

 The gram panchayat development officers have appointed Nodal Officers to look after the eradication of manual scavenging.

“The facilities which were earlier available in urban areas have now been extended to rural areas.

At least one machine should be made available in each taluk of the district by the end of July,” P Rajendra Cholan, CEO of Zilla Panchayat said.

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