Belagavi: A case of contract workers being engaged in manual scavenging came to light at the Central Bus Station under the Belagavi division of the North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation here on Wednesday.
Two workers, identified as SharnappaMadar and Shivaraj Shankar Vajanar allegedly hired by contractor Ganesh Vajanar, were found cleaning a manhole connected to the public toilet at the entrance to the station when members and officials of the Karnataka State Commission for SafaiKaramcharis paid a surprise visit around 5 a.m.
M.R. Venkatesh, Chairman, Karnataka State Commission for SafaiKaramcharis, told presspersons that action must be taken against both the officials concerned and the contractor, even as the Deputy Commissioner had been already asked to conduct an inquiry to ascertain the lapses on the part of officials in the NWKRTC.
He also assured that a full rehabilitation package, as per the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act 2013, will be ensured to both the workers.
Venkatesh, who visited SafaiKaramcharis’ Colony in Shahpur, said, “Incidentally, this is the second incident of manual scavenging that came to light in Karnataka since the Act came into force. The first one was reported from Shivamogga district over three years ago.”
“It is shocking that despite the Act with stringent punishments, human beings are still being subjected to manual scavenging, although suction and jetting machines were available in the city,” he said.