SAGAR Charan, vice-president of the Safai Karamchari Grievance Redressal Committee, has alleged that conservancy workers of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) are not provided safety gear, forcing them to clear human excreta released into nullahs with bare hands. Charan has filed a complaint related to manual scavenging with the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis.
Charan claimed that the PCMC drainage department releases human waste into nullahs and the conservancy staff is asked to manually clean them. “I filed a complaint with the National Commission for Safai Karmacharis, after which it issued a notice to the PCMC,” said Charan.
The activist said PCMC chief Shravan Hardikar had convened a meeting on the issue and directed his officials to take suitable action in the matter. “Last year, too, we had filed a complaint against manual scavenging… the PCMC had promised action, but nothing happened,” said Charan.
Charan added that he has urged the commission to take action against the PCMC for violating the Protection of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
The activist also alleged that the PCMC drainage department was discharging sewage filled with human excreta into nullahs. “The conservancy staff has to clear the human excreta from the nullahs with bare hands. They are not even provided safety gear. The drainage department and health department are responsible for this state of affairs. Instead of pressing machines into cleaning the nullahs, they are forcing hapless workers to clean the nullahs filled with human excreta,” he said.
Charan added that he has urged the commission to book officials from drainage and health departments under Section 8 of the Manual Scavengers Act and Section 337 of the Indian Penal Code for “endangering life or personal safety of others”.
PCMC officials, meanwhile, said they will take appropriate action to ensure safety of safai karmacharis.