National Safai Karamchari Commission chairman Manhar Valjibhai Zala on Thursday asked the Himachal Pradesh government to provide safety equipment to sanitation workers for cleaning sewers.
He directed that sucking and jetting machines should be made available in all Municipal Committees of the state to clean the septic tanks and ensure door-to-door garbage collection throughout the state.
Zala is on a six-day long tour to Himachal to discuss and monitor the implementation of schemes and programmes being implemented for Safai Karamchari in the state. He held a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretaries, Director General of Police and heads of various departments and reviewed the implementation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
He directed the state government to fill up vacant posts of the Safai Karamchari in all the Municipalities of the state and implement the Prohibition of Employment and Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act strictly. He said that the pending cases of employment to Safai Karamcharis on the compassionate ground should be cleared on priority.
He said that the state government should give special priority to constitute state level Safai Karamchari commission to ensure better implementation of the Act. He also advised to constitute state and district level monitoring committees in the state and organise their meetings regularly.
Chief Secretary BK Agarwal said the state government is implementing various programmes for ensuring the welfare of the Safai Karmacharis. Manual scavenging is not being done in the state and safety gadgets like gumboots, gloves and facemasks are being provided to them, he added.
He directed the Labour department to check the irregularities, if any, on the part of outsourcing agencies regarding wages and other financial benefits to the Safai Karmacharis and also ensure that they get pay slips. He directed to provide good quality bags for carrying the liquid waste to address the health issues.
Agarwal asked the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Corporation to start awareness camps about the welfare schemes being implemented for the Safai Karmacharis. He directed the Health Department to organise health check-up camps twice a year for the Safai Karmacharis.
The Chief Secretary apprised the Commission that the state government has decided to develop Krishnangar locality of the Shimla town under Smart City Mission and the houses in bad condition of the Safai Karmacharis in different parts of the state would also be repaired.