Shivamogga Deputy Commissioner K.B. Shivakumar has directed the officers in the district to take measures to avoid manual scavenging. “It is a criminal offence to hire people to clean soak pits or underground drains. The officers should use sucking machines,” he said in a meeting with officers on Thursday.
All the urban local bodies have got sucking machines. The private people also could hire the machines for cleaning the pits. The urban local bodies could use advanced machines to clean the public toilets. Shivamogga City Corporation could procure them on a pilot basis. The same could be followed in other urban local bodies, he said.
The municipal workers, hired through outsourcing agencies, should get the minimum wages fixed by the State government. There were complaints against a few outsourcing agencies on non-payment of minimum wages. All the employees should get other benefits such as ESI and EPF.
Earlier a survey was conducted to find out manual scavengers in the district. The State government had taken enough measures to rehabilitate them. They had got ration cards, financial assistance of ₹40,000 and their children had got seats in Morarji Schools. Those who owned sites had got houses sanctioned, Deputy Director of Social Welfare Department Manjunath said.
Additional SP H.T. Shekhar, Additional DC Nagendra Honnalli and others were present at the meeting.