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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to Delhi government, Public Works Department (PWD) and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and sought their replies as why the manual scavenging was being allowed in the state capital despite Delhi government banning it from Aug 21, 2017.

The bench comprising Justices GS Sistani and Jyoti Singh was hearing a writ petition by Advocate Amit Sahni seeking directions to the Delhi government, PWD and DJB to ensure strict compliance of the provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 in order to prevent loss of lives because of manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks and for seeking further directions.

“Unfortunately the Government of NCT of Delhi despite claimed to have imposed blanket ban on manual cleaning of Sewers on 21-08-2017 in pursuant to the directions of Lt. Governor, who had called a High Level Meeting over deaths during sewer cleaning, which was also attended by Chief Minister Mr. ArvindKejriwal, Delhi PWD Minister Satender Jain and Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam. It was also assured that no person will be allowed to go inside the gutter for sewer cleaning under any circumstances and that there will be a complete ban on it. The minister also briefed media persons, as per reports that awareness would be spread by hoardings for not cleaning Sewer Lines/Tanks manually,” the plea read.

—India Legal Bureau

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