Amendment sought to ban entry of humans into sewers

Published - September 11, 2011 08:15 am IST - CHENNAI:

The Assembly on Saturday adopted a resolution requesting Parliament to amend the Employment of Manual Scavenger and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993, to prevent the entry of manual labour into sewerage systems as well as septic tanks.

Moving the resolution, Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister K.P. Munusami said that Tamil Nadu was the first State to adopt a resolution, which would go a long way in eliminating manual scavenging.

Recommendation from at least two States was mandatory for the Centre to amend the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act by placing it before Parliament.

The Minister said that even though 18 years had elapsed since the legislation was enacted, it was only now that a step was being taken to amend it. Neither the Centre nor any State had taken the initiative so far.

The Madras High Court had been consistently pressing for an amendment to the Act to prevent manual scavenging and entry of humans into sewers and septic tanks. Following a direction, the Chief Secretary informed the court that a resolution would be adopted during the current session of the Assembly.

The Chief Secretary said that instructions had been issued to create awareness among the public about the ban on entry of labourers into sewerage system.

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