NEW DELHI: Concerned over the rising numbers of deaths in the national capital during manual cleaning of sewer tanks, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with a State Level Monitoring committee on manual scavenging on Monday.
The committee has been directed to set Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for monitoring private housing complexes/societies where hiring of people for sewer cleaning is concerned.
In three districts of Delhi that have done a survey on manual scavenging recently at least 45 manual scavengers have been identified till date in Delhi.
In the new scheme of things District Magistrates (DM) will be held responsible for the death of any person in future, given that, the DMs failed to identify them in the survey.
"Through the survey we hope to identify people who are involved in the work and we will provide them training for better opportunities of work. If there is any death in the future due to manual scavenging and he/she is not in our records, then the respective DM of the area will be held responsible and could be penalized under Section 304 IPC (culpable homicide)" said Minister of SC/ST welfare Rajendra Pal Gautam who was present in the meeting.
Chief Minister Kejriwal also pointed out that an earlier survey held by the DMs was not up to the mark and asked the department of Urban development to submit a report on deaths of manual scavengers in the last five years.
Regard the progress on mechanizing cleaning of sewage in Delhi, Gautam said that a work order for 200 machines had already been placed and this would be the first concrete step in the direction. Six people reportedly died in the last few months in the national capital while cleaning septic tanks.