PIL in HC for salary payment, medical facilities to sanitation workers; court seeks Centre's stand

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New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response of the Centre and AAP government on a PIL seeking payment of pending salaries of sanitation workers and providing them medical facilities as well as safety gear.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Delhi government as well as the National and Delhi Commissions for Safai Karamcharis seeking their stand on the petition by March 15.

The petition by Delhi resident Harnam Singh, who claims to be a social activist and a former chairman of the Delhi Commission for Safai Karamcharis, has alleged that sanitation workers were forced to work without the required protective gear during the time the pandemic numbers were increasing uncontrollably.

Singh, represented by advocate Mehmood Pracha, has also alleged that even the two commissions set up for the welfare of the safai karamcharis did not perform their duties.

'Moreover, no facilities for treatment and care as well as medical insurance of these sanitation workers and their families have been made available by the respondents (Centre, Delhi government and the commissions),' the petition has claimed.

It has also claimed that 'owing to the said situation, workers of North Delhi Municipal Corporation have been on strike since early January 2021, while workers of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation have also announced a strike recently. 'As sanitation workers have been compelled to take drastic steps, it has serious implications for sanitation, cleanliness, and safety of the general public.' The Delhi government, represented by additional standing counsel Satyakam, told the bench that the sanitation workers were the employees of the three corporations who were responsible for providing them with protective gear and medical facilities. PTI HMP SA