New Delhi, Sep 12: The government is planning to make the law banning manual scavenging more strict by introducing a bill in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament that is scheduled to begin from Monday.
According to officials, the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (Amendment) Bill, 2020, also proposes to completely mechanise sewer cleaning and provide better protection at work and compensation in case of accidents.
Presently, engaging any person for hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks by any person or agency is punishable with imprisonment of up to five years or a fine up of to Rs 5 lakh or both.
The bill proposes to make the law banning manual scavenging more stringent by increasing the imprisonment term and the fine amount, the officials said. The bill is among the 23 bills to be tabled in Parliament during the Monsoon Session.
The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 prohibits construction or maintenance of insanitary latrines, and employment of any person for manual scavenging or hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.
The bill comes under the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry's National Action Plan which aims at complete elimination of hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks, a more serious, stringent and focused strategy framework.