Govt Authorities to Pay Rs 30 Lakh Compensation to Families of Those Who Die While Cleaning Sewers: SC

Taking a grim view of incidents of sewer deaths in the country, the Supreme Court on Friday said government authorities will have to pay Rs 30 lakh as compensation to the kin of those who die while cleaning sewers.

A bench comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar said those who suffer permanent disabilities while cleaning sewers will be paid Rs 20 lakh as minimum compensation.

“The Union and the state governments must ensure that manual scavenging is completely eradicated,” the bench said.

Pronouncing the judgement, Justice Bhat said the authorities will have to pay up to Rs 10 lakh if the cleaner suffers other disabilities.

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Issuing a slew of directions, which were not read out, the bench directed that the government agencies must coordinate to ensure that such incidents do not occur and moreover, the High Courts are not precluded from monitoring the cases related to sewer deaths.

The judgement came on a PIL. The detailed order is awaited.

As many as 347 people died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks in India in the last five years with Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Delhi accounting for 40 per cent of these deaths, according to government data cited in Lok Sabha in July 2022.

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