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HC: Ensure no person is hired to clean sewers, septic tanks

October 05, 2019 05:50 AM


HC: Ensure no person is hired to clean sewers, septic tanks


The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to ensure that no person is employed to clean septic tanks, sewer lines, including manholes. The sewer lines, septic tanks and manholes shall be cleaned mechanically by employing the latest technological appliances, it said.

The HC also directed the authorities to ensure that no person throughout Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh is engaged or employed either directly or indirectly as a manual scavenger. “All the contracts, agreements or other instruments entered into or executed engaging or employing a person for the purpose of manual scavenging in the states of Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh are declared void. Every manual scavenger identified and included in the final list of manual scavengers shall be rehabilitated within three months and the district magistrate shall be liable to ensure his rehabilitation,” directed the HC division bench of acting Chief Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice H S Sidhu, which had taken suo motu cognizance of reports regarding manual cleaning of septic tanks or manholes.

The HC also directed the two states and the UT to provide financial assistance and incentives for use of modern technology for cleaning of sewers, septic tanks, and other spaces within a period of three months.

Grant 1 month pay as bonus to safai karamcharis: HC

Haryana has also been directed to issue notification under Section 7 of the Act banning hazardous cleaning of sewer/septic tank manually within 15 days.

The authorities in the two states and in Chandigarh have been directed to provide pension of Rs 35,000 every month to the legal heirs of the persons engaged in private capacity, in the state/municipal bodies/Panchayati Raj institutions, who died while cleaning sewers, septic tanks, and manholes till the age of 60 years.

Besides this, to make cities and villages liveable, the HC also directed that all the streets, public premises including parks shall be surface cleaned on a daily basis, including Sundays and public holidays by municipal corporations, municipal councils, panchayats, and Panchayati Raj Institutions.

The high court asked the authorities to consider granting one month salary as bonus to the safai karamcharis, taking into consideration the arduous and hazardous duties being discharged by them.

All the deputy commissioners in the two states and UT have been directed to file status report on or before February 12, 2020.

All officers of municipal bodies and village panchayats shall ensure that no garbage, rubbish, filth is deposited by any person on any street or in a public place

All workers deployed for cleaning streets and removal of garbage, including bio-degradable medical waste, should be provided with necessary equipment, including uniforms, shoes, gloves, and other implements for winters and summers separately. All the uniforms must have reflectors and all workers must be provided ID cards

Clean all streets and roads falling within municipal areas and village panchayats every morning. Provide two dustbins (for collection of dry and wet bio-medical waste) freeof-cost to all households in municipal area, depending on their financial health

Ensure door-to-door collection of segregated solid waste from all households, including slums and informal settlements, commercial, institutional, and other non-residential institutions

Impose heavy fine on those littering waste/garbage at public places

Set up material recovery facilities or secondary storage facilities with sufficient space for sorting of recyclable materials

Sweepers, throughout their respective states, must not burn leaves collected from streets, must store them separately and then hand them over to waste collectors or agency authorized by local body

Construct, operate and maintain solid waste processing facilities either individually or through any agency within six months

No mixing of bio-medical waste with other municipal solid waste


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