25 sanitation workers died in harness during COVID-19 lockdown: DCSK informs HC

New Delhi [India], July 28 (ANI): The Delhi Commission for Safai Karamchari (DCSK) on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that it has taken cognizance of the death of 25 sanitation workers who died in harness during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

July 28, 2021

National

3 min

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New Delhi [India], July 28 (ANI): The Delhi Commission for Safai Karamchari (DCSK) on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that it has taken cognizance of the death of 25 sanitation workers who died in harness during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
The Commission’s submission came today through an affidavit filed on a plea filed by social activist Harnam Singh through Advocate Mehmood Prachalit, seeking direction to the concerned authorities to provide personal protective gear to sanitation workers amid the pandemic.
The affidavit further stated that sanitation workers (Safai Karamcharis) age forefront warriors in the fight against COVID-19 and the Delhi Chief Minister has also announced that suitable compensation shall be given to the dependents of the workers who died on duty during the pandemic.
The Commission recommended compensation and compassionate appointment in the case of death of sanitation workers and in some of the cases compensation of Rs 1 crore and Rs 10 lakhs has been paid.
The matter was heard by the bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Wednesday.
After taking note that the response of several other respondents is yet to come, the Bench deferred the hearing for September 13.
Recently, the High Court also sought a response from the Centre and Delhi government regarding payment of pending salaries of sanitation workers and providing them medical facilities as well as safety gear.
The petition alleged that sanitation workers were forced to work without protective gear during the time the COVID-19 cases were surging.
The Delhi High Court had earlier directed municipal authorities to maintain a record of the equipment given to the sanitation workers who report for duty and suspend the biometric system for marking attendance due to the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Before this court, the petitioner had earlier approached the Supreme Court for securing the safety of the “vulnerable and highly exposed” sanitation workers.
The Apex Court had disposed of the petition while recording the categorical submission that adequate safety equipment was being provided to them as per mandatory WHO guidelines.
“Even though the order implies that the safety of all sanitation workers has been ensured by strict compliance with guidelines for disbursement of protective equipment to them, the petitioner has come across information from several sources, including news articles, of the completely hapless and offensive extent to which sanitation workers have been left to fend for themselves,” the plea said.
It said that the sanitation workers largely belong to economic weaker section and that these workers are unlikely to have the means and opportunity to approach the court, and therefore the petitioner moved the petition in the public interest. (ANI)

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