Sewer cleaning should be done only using specified equipment: Karnataka HC

The Karnataka Supreme Court has made it clear to the state government that clean-up operations throughout the state should henceforth only be carried out with the help and support of the equipment set out in the regulations prohibiting the employment of manual scavengers and their rehabilitation law. 2013.

The court also ordered the government to provide details of the equipment provided under the 2013 Act, its availability with local authorities and the reason for the unavailability, as the local authorities must have the necessary equipment in accordance with the regulations. A division bank made up of Judge Satish Chandra Sharma and Judge Sachin Shankar Magadum issued the instructions Monday when they heard two separate PIL petitions filed by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority and the All India Central Council of Trade Unions and themselves Complained about the non-implementation of the law’s ban on manual cleaning in Karnataka. “It is made clear that in the future there will be no more manual cleanups in the state that disregard the legal provisions of the law and the regulations of 2013,” noted Bench.

The 2013 regulations list about 40 types of protective equipment and devices that must be made available to those involved in sewer / septic tank cleaning. They also mandate 14 types of equipment and machinery that local authorities should have for them. In its decision of December 2020, the court had ruled that the 2013 regulations had hardly been implemented in the state.

On the two deaths of some people while manually cleaning manholes in Kalaburagi (January) and Ramanagaram (June), the bank ordered that the deputy commissioners of both districts should be present in the court during the next hearing on October 4th for the Failure of local authorities to enforce the provisions of the 2013 Law on the identification and rehabilitation of manual scavengers.

The deputy commissioners are not required to appear when they submit a manual scavengers rehabilitation compliance report, the bank said.

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