50 dead cleaning sewers in first 6 months of 2019, says panel report

Publish On: 24 Jul, 2019 04:05 AM | Updated   |   SJ Desk  

India’s manual scavenging has always had a startling and grave reality to show for. This year, six months into 2019; 50 people died. This data, though surprising, is, by NCSK’S own statement, a grave underestimation because it includes figures just for eight states — state, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Mysore, and state — out of thirty-six states and Union Territories.

Moreover, several of those eight states have under-reported numbers, per NCSK. for example, as per NCSK’s official records, Delhi records deaths of 3 sewer workers between January one and June thirty this year. However, double as many Safai Karamcharis have reportedly died throughout the six months. Deaths of three workers working for carrying out repairs at Delhi Jal Board waste treatment plant in June haven't been confirmed by the state and therefore haven't been formally recorded by NCSK, which is the sole agency in India country that maintains records of manual scavenging deaths.

The Commission’s annual report specifically pulls up Indian Railways, stating that the Railways have been the “largest employer of safai karamcharis”, and therefore the “problem of manual scavenging is not really as acute as it is within the Railways”.

Gujarat, the home state of NCSK chairman Manhar Valjibhai Zala, has documented 156 deaths, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, covered seventy-seven and seventy deaths, eleven deaths in Haryana occurred over the last six months alone.

When it the facts about the payment of obligatory compensation of Rs 10 lakh to families of the deceased, Tamil Nadu incorporates a good record distributing payments in 75% of cases; Gujarat has done it in only over 30% of cases.

NCSK chairman Zala has currently suggested that the Union government has to amend The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, so the principal employers, that are largely state government agencies and urban native bodies, must be considered liable for the deaths, and not simply the contractors allotted the work.