Case: In Re Ensuring The Security Of Life And Safety Of Health Of The Workmen And Employees Engaged
Suo moto proceedings have been initiated by the Allahabad High Court regarding cleaning sewers and septic tanks, where the counsel appearing for the State of U.P. stated that all the local bodies have been instructed to follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in cleaning sewers and septic tanks. The affidavit discloses that cleaning is done with the help of mechanised machines and gumboot, hand gloves, masks etc. have been provided to the contractors by the Nagar Nigam. Further, the affidavit states that it is made clear to the contractors that if these instructions are violated then stringent action would be taken against them. However, the Amicus Curiae, Sri Rajeev Lochan Shukla, has presented photographs in the court showing that still the workers are working without the safety equipments like gas masks, gumboots and hand gloves.
The Court observed that framing guidelines and SOPs is not enough if they are not implemented. The Court was of the view that the best way such schemes can benefit the workers is by educating them about the rights and entitlements that they have. Therefore, the court directed the Respondents to distribute pamphlets specifying the rights and entitlements of the sanitation workers.