New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) With no health card issued to sanitation workers and no funds with MCDs for the same, a member of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) on Tuesday had a heated argument with Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, who in turn accused him of politicizing the issue.
The NCSK member, along with the chairman, held a press conference where they said out of 64 people who died in sewers since 1993 in the city, families of 18 are yet to get compensation of Rs 10 lakh.
"Only families of 46 have got the compensation money," said Chairman, National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, Manhar Valjibhai Zala. Speaking to IANS, Ganga Ram Ghosre, the member, said less than 46 such families received the full compensation.
"The government gave some families only Rs 2 lakh or Rs 3 lakh, but in records it has said full money has been given. When asked about the remaining amount, government officials said it would be released soon. However, the compensation should be released in one go," said Ghosre, member, National Commission for Safai Karamcharis.
While briefing the media, Ghosre said the government had in 2015 promised to give health cards to the 'safai Karamcharis', but nothing has been done so far.
Responding to him in the press conference, Gautam said: "Enough health schemes are being run by the Delhi government and the Karamcharis can take the benefits of these schemes." However, the member and the minister had heated argument when the member said the MCD told the Commission that money has not been given to them for the health cards.
Gautam accused Ghosre saying he is politicizing the issue and blamed the BJP.
"Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari had said he would ensure that MCDs get the money directly from the Centre, if the BJP comes to power in MCD. However, nothing has been done. Also, Delhi government has not been given funds from the Centre for the MCDs. You (Ghosre) are politicizing the issue," Gautam said.
He also said the MCD has made no plans for the welfare of the Karamcharis, while the Delhi government is working on the same.
"Close to 100 machines were brought out of which only 35-40 were given to the Karamcharis, they gave the rest to other people who were not involved in the work before."
Also, no funds are being released for giving education loans to the children of the Karamcharis. So, the basic welfare of Karamcharis are stopped as no funds being given for health, education or uplifting the workers," he added.
While Gautam said the government had floated tenders and helped families of those who died while cleaning sewers get loans for the machines. Zala told the media that the Delhi government has not been implementing the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 and is sending out a wrong message to the rest of the country.
Gautam, however, countered him saying his government has ensured effective implementation of the Act and "deaths which have taken place occurred in septic tanks of malls and high rises where sewer cleaning machines of Delhi Jal Board cannot reach," adding his government has ended manual scavenging.
(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)
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