The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to file a report regarding disbursement of compensation to families of 118 manual scavengers who had died since 1993 while cleaning up sewers in public places in the state.
Two-and-a-half years after the Supreme Court directed the State governments to provide compensation to the families of all manual scavengers who have died clearing sewers since 1993, the Tamil Nadu government has yet to compensate 119 such deaths.
The status quo has remained the same despite the apex court upholding its order in this regard on May 10, 2015 while disposing of a review application moved by the Tamil Nadu government seeking clarification on its liability in compensating deaths of manual scavengers engaged by private parties.
Perusing the summary report submitted by an NGO Change India in connection with the deaths of manual scavengers in the state and compensation for their kin, the court said, “Keeping the summary position, further progress report will be filed by the authorities and the excuse of review petition not pending should result in payment being disbursed.”
Taking stock of the situation, the First Bench of the Madras High Court directed the Secretary of the Municipal Administration and Water Supply to file a progress report providing details about the disbursal of compensation.
Earlier, the Madras High Court had directed the state government to disburse the compensation as per the direction of the Supreme Court order dated May 10,2016, which stated that the families of scavengers are entitled for a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs each.