Millennium Post

Delhi govt starts campaign against manual scavenging

NEW DELHI: Following the direction of the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, the Delhi government has started its campaign against the manual scavenging through newspaper and TV advertisements.
The government will fast-track the campaign through big hoardings and more advertisements after the Navaratri Festival. After taking the charge of the water department the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reportedly gave the issue priority and asked the officials to initiate the campaign.
In the first phase of the campaign, the government has mostly explained the basic rules and guidelines for the manual scavenging. The key aim of this campaign to spread the message that getting manual scavenging is a punishable offence and government idea of mechanical cleaning of sewer lines and septic tanks.
The department of urban development got the charge of this whole initiative. The department with the consultation of the CM, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and other departments has decided to keep four points in the first phase of the campaign.
In the first point, the government described that deputing any person for cleaning of deep sewers, septic tank, drains and sewer would be illegal and punishable offence. The department also mentioned that if a manual scavenger dies then a case of culpable homicide would be registered against the individual who had deputed the concerned person.
In the advertisements, the government also described that in case of death or an accident during the cleaning of sewer: building owner, concerned government agencies and contractor would be collectively responsible and legal action would be taken against them.
"Cleaning of sewer and septic tanks must always be done through sewer or septic cleaning machines only," the government said. Lastly, in this city-wide campaign the concerned department has also aimed to inform the people that in unavoidable circumstances, written permission would be required form the government agencies for manual scavenging with proper safety measures and equipment as provided under the "Prevention of Employment of Manual Scavengers and Rehabilitation Act-2013.
In the second phase of the campaign which is likely to start after the Navaratri, the government will focus on the initiatives it had taken for these labourers and also describe why it would be important to get rid of this practice. Earlier, the Lt. Governor Anil Baijal asked the government to 100 percent mechanisation of the manual scavenging.
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