Sanitation workers take up occupational hazards with CM
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Commission for Safai Karamcharis (DCSK), under the Delhi government, on Thursday submitted its demands regarding social justice for sanitation workers, increase in salary, creation of more posts and health security provision for the workers to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with Kejriwal and the CEO of Delhi Jal Board, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal set March 2018 as the deadline for 100 per cent mechanisation of manual scavenging.
"We met the Chief Minister and discussed our demands. We have a lot of expectations from him and we hope he will work for our social justice," said Sant Lal Chawaria, chairperson of DCSK.
Chawaria added that Kejriwal ensured them to work swiftly on these issues and to discuss them with the LG.
Members of DCSK said that due to the state's rising population, they face several problems in terms of employment. Further, they said that the death of 10 manual scavengers in the last two months has terrified them from working.
The members said that workers are looking for health insurance from the government, so that their families get monetary assurance in case of emergencies.
"Proper planning of rehabilitation and compensation should be made for us. The families of these workers are suffering a lot," said a member.
The Commission also urged the government to plan different ways of income for sanitation workers, with manual scavenging having been banned.
However, they strongly welcomed the mechanisation of sewage cleaning and called it a "big justice".
"We hope that after the discussion with the LG, the government will come up with proper plans to ensure our suggestions," Chawaria said.
Following the meeting, Baijal chaired the second meeting regarding the issue of manual scavenging in the city. The LG directed laying down a concrete plan for manual cleaning of sewers in emergency situations, and to formulate a procedure for migration to 100 per cent mechanisation for cleaning of sewers.
Adding to this, Baijal also directed amendment of contracts and inclusion of deterrent penal clauses against contractors found violating safety norms.
The LG reiterated and directed the concerned agencies to spread widespread awareness on the harmful impact of manual cleaning of sewers on the health of sanitation workers, as well as the criminality on the part of the concerned contractors/user agencies.