Manual scavenging banned: CM

The city has become the first state in the country to ban manual scavenging, said chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday.

She made the announcement at a function organised by the Delhi Commission for Safai Karamcharis.

“No safai worker will be allowed to manually clean sewers,” she added.

In January, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Centre for not enacting a law banning manual scavenging.

The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012 is pending in Parliament.

What the law says

According to the Bill, the district magistrate has to ensure that no person within his or her jurisdiction is engaged as a manual scavenger.

It makes it mandatory for municipalities, cantonment boards and railway authorities to construct adequate number of sanitary community latrines within three years of the Act coming into force.

In her address, Dikshit said Dalits have struggled a lot for decades, and it is time to remove obstacles coming in the way of their development.

“We have to work on the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi as well as Dr B R Ambedkar to ensure equality and eliminate discrimination and injustice,” she said.

Upgrading status

The city government has upgraded the status of cleaning workers from unskilled to skilled labourers to give them more minimum wages, added Dikshit.

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