Civic agencies asked to protect sewer cleaners from poisonous gases

August 20th, 2008 - 11:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued directions to the capital’s civic agencies to protect contract labourers engaged in sewer cleaning from poisonous gases.The court also set up a committee to ensure that the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), besides DJB, comply with its directions.

It also sought a comprehensive compliance report from the committee by Oct 22, the next date of hearing.

A division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar asked the DJB and others to provide free medical treatment to sewer workers.

It directed that neither the DJB nor any contractor who engaged them would terminate their services during their illness.

The court also asked the DJB and civic agencies to pay compensation of Rs.100,000 to workers in case they fall prey to work-related ailments and the amount will be recovered from contractors.

Directing them to provide protective equipments to workers, the court said all sewer workers were entitled to statutory benefits like provident fund, gratuity and bonus.

The bench was hearing a public interest petition filed by the National Campaign for Dignity and Rights, an NGO, alleging that the DJB had failed to comply with the court’s direction to provide adequate safety measures for the sewerage workers.

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