Plea in Delhi HC seeking directions for safety of sanitation workers amid COVID-19 pandemic

Delhi HC
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New Delhi [India], April 23 (ANI): A petition was moved in Delhi High Court on Thursday seeking directions to authorities for the safety of lakhs of sanitation workers who are carrying out waste collection and disposal during the COVID-19 pandemic. The petition, filed by social activist Harnam Singh through advocate Mahmood Pracha, is expected to come up for hearing in the High Court on Friday. The plea sought directions to authorities concerned to “provide protective equipment to the sanitation workers” who have been working “tirelessly and selflessly” during the COVID-19 pandemic, which it said has put the lives of billions of people across the world at risk.

It said that the petitioner had earlier approached the Supreme Court for securing the safety of the “vulnerable and highly exposed” sanitation workers, and the Supreme Court had disposed of the petition while recording the categorical submission that adequate safety equipment was being provided to them as per mandatory WHO guidelines. “Even though the order implies that the safety of all sanitation workers has been ensured by strict compliance with guidelines for disbursement of protective equipment to them, the petitioner has come across information from several sources, including news articles, of the completely hapless and offensive extent to which sanitation workers have been left to fend for themselves against COVID-19 while performing their essential public function which is in itself crucial for restricting the spread of the pandemic,” the plea said.

It said that the sanitation workers largely belong to a lower economic category and that these workers are unlikely to have the means and opportunity to approach this court, and therefore the petitioner is moving the present petition in the public interest. The petitioner, in the plea, said that he has written letters to authorities over the issue but so far no adequate measures has been taken in the matter, and therefore he is moving the petition due to the urgent and immediate nature of the issue. It said that unlike doctors, who work in a controlled and sanitized environment, sanitation workers function in unhygienic conditions and run a higher risk of getting infected with the virus. (ANI)

Delhi High Court, Safety of sanitation workers, Coronavirus, Lockdown


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