Delhi Lieutenant Governor, Anil Baijal, issued directives for 100 per cent mechanisation of the sewage cleaning after more than 10 deaths of sanitation workers cleaning sewages manually were reported in the city.
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and concerned authorities were also directed to run a campaign to create awareness about the harmful effects of cleaning sewers on the health of the workers.
Lt Governor Baijal tweeted about the high-level meeting:
“Held joint meeting with Hon’ble CM. Directions issued for 100% migration to mechanization for sewers/drains cleaning. Strict regime to be prepared within 7 days. Intensive publicity of laid down norms for observance by contractors. Police to take stringent action against defaulters.”
In the meeting presided by the Lt Governor, attendees included Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Water Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, and PWD Minister Satyender Jain, Chief Secretary Dr. M.M. Kutty and other officials.
The Delhi Jal board has also been asked to work on a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in the next 7 days, in cases that demand emergency manual intervention.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Water Minister, Rajendra Pal Gautam, said, “Anyone found sending a worker down any drain or sewer in the Capital will not be charged under negligence. S/he will now directly be charged under section 304 of the IPC which is culpable homicide.”