Court directs railways to rehabilitate scavengersJuly 27th, 2011 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the railways to rehabilitate manual scavengers following the introduction of bio-toilets in train coaches.
The division bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said: “Railways should seriously think of the rehabilitation of these manual scavengers.”
Taking note of the status report filed by advocate Rajiv Nanda, who is assisting the court in the case, the court also expressed displeasure at the slow pace of rollout of the bio-toilets, which retain human waste and treat it with bacteria, converting it into gas and water.
The report said the railways have cited several reasons for the delay, including prohibitive costs, with one estimate pegging the amount required for bio-toilets at Rs.1,600 crore.
“With the Indian Railways running a total of 50,000 coaches on date, of which 43,000 coaches are engaged in the passengers service, this means that there are a total of 1,72,000 toilets which are functioning today using technology which is completely unacceptable, in that it requires the use of manual scavengers to clean the human excreta which is directly discharged on to the railway tracks,” Nanda said in the report.
“Railways should install the bio-toilets as fast as they can,” said the bench, adding that the railways have not installed bio-toilets in even one percent of its total number of coaches.
The court has fixed Sep 21 as the next date for hearing.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Safai Karamchari Andolan, a federation of state-level organisations of manual scavengers across the country.
The same bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra took strong exception to an earlier affidavit of the railways, contending that until they install washable aprons at stations and totally sealed toilet systems, “manual scavenging cannot be totally eradicated”.
- India is world's capital for open defecation, says Ramesh - Jul 27, 2012
- Won't give directions which may be questioned: Apex court - Nov 08, 2010
- Rural development ministry offers to fund bio-toilets for railway coaches - Jul 25, 2012
- Green toilets to provide better hygiene for passengers - Mar 14, 2012
- Inhuman bondage: 1.3 million manual scavengers exist in India despite ban - Jul 27, 2009
- India launches bio-toilets for rural homes - Jun 24, 2012
- NGO hopes manual scavenging will be eradicated by year end - Oct 25, 2010
- 'Draft bill against manual scavenging with stricter provisions in monsoon session' - Jul 16, 2012
- New technology toilets introduced in Delhi : MCD - Aug 14, 2010
- Government plans new bill to ban manual scavenging - Apr 19, 2012
- Indian defence scientists develop bio-toilets for soldiers (With Image) - Feb 18, 2011
- End manual scavenging, say Mumbai protesters - Jul 16, 2012
- 'Liberated' women manual scavengers meet US ambassador - Mar 01, 2010
- Court summons MCD chief over zoo flooding threat - Jul 13, 2011
- Over a million Indians engaged in manual scavenging (To go with Abolish manual scavenging by 2012-end, urges NAC) - Oct 23, 2010
Tags: aprons, chief justice, crore, delhi high court, dipak, displeasure, division bench, human excreta, indian railways, manual scavengers, misra, nanda, prohibitive costs, public interest litigation, rajiv, rollout, sanjiv, slow pace, toilet systems, train coaches