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Gujarat Human Rights Commission seeks report on workers entering gutters sans mask

By Our Representative
The Gujarat State Human Rights Commission has asked the Patan district collector and the chief officer, Patan municipality, to respond detail within 20 days on what action have they taken regarding a complaint it received on gutter workers being forced to enter into manholes without necessary safety equipment, including oxygen masks, putting at risk their life.
Pointing out that this happened on July 28, 2017, the complaint, by Pankaj Buch of the Ground Reality Foundation, forwarded to Kamal Dayani, social justice and empowerment secretary, and Mukesh Purie, urban development secretary, says that this state of affairs suggests that the contractors acted without caring for the life of the sanitary workers.
Noting that the Prohibition of Employement as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, bars any worker to enter into underground gutters, the complaint further said, the is work usually handed over to a contractor, who illegally sub-contracts, which is against Supreme Court and High Court rulings.
Wondering whether Patan municipality officials checked things, Buch said, there have been several deaths as a result of such negligence on the part of the officials and contractors across. Asking the Gujarat government to cancel all such contracts, he added, concerned officials' responsibility should also be fixed.

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