Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who chairs the manual scavenging panel meet, directed the Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam to investigate why no meeting was held since December 2017 whereas the panel was supposed to meet every six months.
The Delhi government Panel meeting held for the first time on Monday September 24, came after six workers died in two separate incidents while cleaning sewers in the capital since September 9.
While discussing the measures to stop manual scavenging in the national capital, Kejriwal directed all district magistrates to soon submit a survey report identifying number of manual scavengers in their areas, along with steps taken to rehabilitate them and employ them in civil defence.
“Surveys undertaken by district magistrates to identify manual scavengers has thrown up a count of 45. Many districts showed up zero figures while other DMs have so far reported that these manual scavengers are spread across Shahdara, East and North East district. CM has said that DMs claiming no manual scavengers in their areas will be held accountable for any mishaps,” told Gautam.
The committee was set up in December 2017, in accordance with provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
The member secretary of the committee, was asked to prepare a standard operating procedure to implement the Act, while the additional district magistrates (ADMs) were directed to review all cases of sewer deaths in the last five years and try the accused under provisions of the Act.