State to strictly enforce ban on manual scavenging

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Bangalore, Nov 7, 2013, DHNS: Manual scavenging is prevalent in most of the cities, including Bangalore. dh file photo

The State government has decided to strictly enforce the ban on manual scavenging.

Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya said on Thursday that officials of the respective urban local bodies (ULBs) will be held responsible if manual scavenging is found in their jurisdiction.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has ordered that stringent action be taken against officials who turn a blind eye to the inhuman practice. Manual scavenging is prevalent in most of the ULBs, including Bangalore. In the absence of underground drainage system, people in several places are using soak pits, which are normally cleaned manually once in three to six months.

Anjaneya admitted that manual scavenging is rampant in many places. A recent survey has found 302 cases of manual scavenging. Interestingly, the maximum number of 202 of these cases were reported from Bangalore city. “The survey is only a tip of the iceberg. There may be no less than 10,000 such cases in the State,” he stated.

Special courts

The social welfare department has sought five additional special courts for speedy trial of cases of atrocities against the SC/ST in the State. These courts will be set up in locations where pendency of such cases are high, he added.

As many as 2,825 cases are pending before seven special courts at Belgaum, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur, Kolar, Tumkur and Mysore.

The maximum number of such cases have been registered in Ramanagara, Bangalore and Kolar, the minister said after reviewing  such cases at a meeting chaired by Siddaramaiah.

Anjaneya said directions have been issued to deputy commissioners and superintendents of police to conduct regular meetings on the atrocities against the SC/ST, as directed by the Central Commission for the SC/ST.

The government will be bringing in a special legislation on introducing a single window clearance for the SC/ST programmess under the aegis of the social welfare department.

Anjaneya said that if the proposed bill is passed in the upcoming winter session of the legislature, then his department will be the nodal agency to allocate funds for all the SC/ST projects under various schemes of the 27 major departments of the government.

The minister said that the department is anticipating Rs 10,000 crore worth of projects to be routed through it.

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