Manual scavenging claimed 90 lives in Karnataka since 2020, says report

Reportedly, there were 7,080 manual scavengers in the state
Last Updated : 15 March 2023, 02:35 IST

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As many as 90 scavengers in the state have died since 2020 while manually cleaning manhole, septic tank and open drainages, according to Karnataka Safai Karmachari Commission chairperson Kote M Shivanna.

Speaking at a workshop on effective implementation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, in Mysuru on Tuesday, Shivanna said that there were 7,080 manual scavengers in the state though the above law bans manual scavenging.

He said that the Bengaluru-based National Law School of India University (NLSIU) will take up a survey from next week collecting the details of scavenging workers in Mysuru and Ballari districts. He said that he had forwarded a report of the NLSIU to the government on rehabilitation and welfare of manual scavengers.

He said that out of the 54,512 pourakarmikas working on contract basis, the services of 11,133 have been regularised in the first phase. The rest would be made permanent in the second phase.

Union minister for State, Social Justice and Empowerment, A Narayanswamy, who spoke on the occasion, said that manual scavenging was still in practice due to inadequate support from officials, politicians and other authorities in curbing it.

Chairperson of National Safai Karmachari Commission, Venkateshan said that in case of death due to manual scavenging, officers heading respective local bodies too should be punished. At present only the contractor is being booked. He said that compensation in case of such deaths should be increased from the present Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh.”

Published 14 March 2023, 17:02 IST

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