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EMPLOYMENT OF MANUAL SCAVENGERS ACT 1993

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 46 of 1993


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Act nº 46 of 1993

Preamble

THE EMPLOYMENT OF MANUAL SCAVENGERS AND CONSTRUCTION OF DRY LATRINES (PROHIBITION) Act, 1993

[Act, No. 46 of 1993]

[5th June, 1993]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the prohibition of employment of manual scavengers as well as construction or continuance of dry latrine and for the regulation of construction and maintenance of water seal latrines and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

WHEREAS fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual has been enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution;

AND WHEREAS article 47 of the Constitution, inter ally, provides that the State shall regard raising the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties;

AND WHEREAS the dehumanising practice of manual scavenging of human excreta still continues in many parts of the country;

AND WHEREAS the municipal laws by themselves as a measure for conservation of dry latrines into water-seal latrines and prevention of construction of dry latrines are not stringent enough to eliminate this practice; AND

WHEREAS it is necessary to enact a uniform legislation for the whole of India for abolishing manual scavenging by declaring employment of manual scavengers for removal of human excreta an offence and thereby Hanna the further proliferation of dry latrines in the country;

AND WHEREAS it is desirable for eliminating the denominating practice of employment of manual scavengers and for protecting and improving the human environment to make it obligatory to convert dry; latrines into water-seal latrines or to construct water-seal latrines in new constructions;

AND WHEREAS Parliament has no power to make laws for the States with respect to the matters aforesaid, except as provided in articles 249 and 250 of the Constitution;

AND WHEREAS in pursuance of clause (1) of article 252 of the Constitution, resolutions have been passed by all the Houses of the Legislatures of the States of Andhra Pradesh, GAO, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tripura and West Bengal that the matters aforesaid should be regulated in those States by Parliament by law; Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition)BE it enacted by Parliament in the Forty-fourth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title, application and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993.Short title, application and commences.

(2) It applies in the first instance to the whole of the States of Andhra Pradesh, GOA, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tripura and West Bengal and to all the Union territories and it shall also apply to such other State which adopts this Act by resolution passed in that behalf under clause (1) of article 252 of the Constitution.

(3) It shall come into force in the States of Andhra Pradesh, GAO, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tripura and West Bengal and in the Union territories on such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint and in any other State which adopts this Act under clause (1) of article 252 of the Constitution, on the date of such adoption.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "area", in relation to any provision of this Act, means such area as the State Government may, having regard to the requirements of that provision, specify by notification;

(b) "building" means a house, out-house, stable, latrine, urinal, sheet house, hut, wall (other than a boundary wall) or any other structure whether made of masonry, bricks, wood, mud, metal or other material;

(c) "dry latrine" means a latrine other than a water-seal latrine;

(d) "environment" includes water, air and land and the inter-relationship which exists among and between water, air and land and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organism and property;

(e) "environmental pollutant" means any solid, liquid or gaseous substance present in such concentration as may be, or tend to be, injurious to environment;

(f) "environmental pollution" means the presence in the environment of any environmental pollutant;

(g) "Executive Authority" means an Executive Authority appointed under sub-section (1) of section 5;

(h) "HUDCO" means the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited, a Government company registered by that name under the Companies Act, 1956;

(i) "latrine" means a place set apart for defecation together with the structure comprising such place, the receptacle therein for collection of human excreta and the fittings and apparatus, if any, connected therewith; Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition)

(j) "manual scavenger" means a person engaged in or employed for manually carrying human excreta and the expression "manual scavenging" shall be construed accordingly;

(k) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(l) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(m) "State Government", in relation to a Union territory, means the Administrator thereof appointed under article 239 of the Constitution;

(n) "water-seal latrine" means a pour-flush latrine, water flush latrine or a sanitary latrine with a minimum water-seal of 20 millimeters diameter in which human excreta is pushed in or flushed by water.

Chapter II

Section 3. Prohibition of employment of manual scavengers, etc.

(1) Subject so sub-section (2) and the other provisions of this Act, with effect from such date and in such area as the State Government may, by notification, specify in this behalf, no person shall--

Prohibition of employment of manual scavengers, etc.

(a) engage in or employ for or permit to be engaged in or employed for any other person nor manually carrying human excreta; or

(b) construct or maintain a dry; latrine.

(2) The State Government shall not issue a notification under sub-section (1) unless--

(i) it has, by notification, given not less than ninety days' notice of its intention to do so;

(ii) adequate facilities for the use of water-seal latrines in that area exist; and

(iii) it is necessary or expedient to do so for the protection and improvement of the environment or public health in that area.

Section 4. Power to exempt

The State Government may, by a general or special order published in the Official Gazette, and upon such conditions, if any, as it any think fit to impose, exempt any area, category of buildings or class of persons from any provisions of this Act or from any specified requirement contained in this Act or any rule, order, notification or scheme made thereunder or dispense with the observance of any such requirement in a class or classes of cases, if it is satisfied that compliance with such provisions or such requirement is or ought to be exempted or dispenses with in the circumstances of the case.

Chapter III

Section 5. Appointment of Executive Authorities and their powers and functions

(1) The State Government may, by order published in the Official Gazette, appoint a District Magistrate or a Sub-Divisional Magistrate, as an Executive Authority to exercise jurisdiction within such area as may be specified in the order and confer such powers and impose such duties on him, as may be necessary to ensure that the provisions of this Act are properly carried out and the Executive Authority may specify the officer or officers, subordinate to him, who shall exercise all or any of the powers, and perform all or any of the duties, so conferred or imposed and the local limits within which such powers or duties shall be carried out by the officer or officers so specified.

(2) The Executive Authority appointed under sub-section (1) and the officer or officers specified under that sub-section shall, as far as practicable, try to rehabilitate and promote the welfare of the persons who were engaged in or employed for as manual scavengers in any area in respect of which a notification under sub-section (1) of section 3 has been issued by securing and protecting their economic interests.

Section 6. Power of State Government to make schemes

(1) The State Government may, by notification, make one or more schemes for regulating conversion of dry latrines into, or construction and maintenance of, water-seal latrines, rehabilitation of the persons who were engaged in or employed for as manual scavengers in any area in respect of which a notification under sub-section (1) of section 3 has been issued in gainful employment and administration of such schemes and different schemes may be made in relation to different areas and for different purposes of this Act:

Provided that no such scheme as involving financial assistance from the HUDCO shall be made without consulting it.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such schemes may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:--

(a) time-bound phased programme for the conversion of dry latrines into water-seal latrines;

(b) provision of technical or financial assistance for new or alternate low cost sanitation to local bodies or other agencies;

(c )construction and maintenance of community latrines and regulation of their use on pay and use basis;

(d) construction and maintenance of shared latrines in slum areas or for the benefit of specially and economically backward classes of citizens;

(e) registration of manual scavengers and their rehabilitation;

(f) specification and standards of water-seal latrines;

(g) procedure for conversion of dry latrines into water-seal latrines; Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition)

(h) licensing for collection of fees in respect of community latrines or shared latrines.

Section 7. Power of State Government to issue directions

Notwithstanding anything contained in any; other law but subject to the other provisions of this Act, the State Government may, in the exercise of its powers and performance of its functions under this Act, issue directions in writing to any person, officer local or other authority and such persons, officer or a local or other authority shall be bound to comply with such directions.Power of State Government to issue directions.

Section 8. Executives Authorities, inspectors, officers and other employees of such authorities to be public servant

All Executive Authorities, all officers and other employees of such authorities including the officers authorised under sub-section (1) of section 5, all inspectors appointed under sub-section (1) of section 9 and all officers and other employees authorised to execute a scheme or order made under this Act, when acting or purporting to act in pursuance of any provisions of this Act or the rules or schemes made or orders or directions issued thereunder, shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code Executive Authorities, inspectors, officers and other employees of such authorities to be public servants.

Section 9. Appointment of inspectors and their powers of entry and inspection

(1) The State Government may, by notification, appoint such persons as it may think fit to be inspectors for the purposes of this Act, and define the local limits within which they shall exercise their powers under this Act, Appointment of inspectors and their powers of entry and inspection.

(2) Every inspector within the local limits of jurisdiction of an Executive Authority shall be subordinate to such authority.

(3) Subject to any rules made in this behalf by the State Government, an inspector may, within the local limits of his jurisdiction, enter, at all reasonable times, with such assistance as he considers necessary, any place for the purpose of--

(a) performing any of the functions of the Executive Authority entrusted to him;

(b) determining whether and if so in what manner, any such functions are to be performed or whether any provisions of this Act or the rules, orders or schemes made thereunder or any notice, order, direction or authorisation served, made, given or granted under this Act is being or has been complied with;

(c ) examining and testing any latrine or for conducting an inspection of any building in which he has reason to believe that an offence under this Act or the rules, orders or schemes made thereunder has binaries being or is about to be committed and to prevent or mitigate environmental pollution.

Section 10. Power of Executive Authority to prevent environmental

(1) On receipt of information with respect to the fact or apprehension of any occurrence of contravention of the provisions of section 3, whether through intimation by some person or on a report of the inspector or otherwise, the Executive Authority shall, as early as practicable, besides taking any other action under this Act, direct the owner or occupier of the premises to take such remedial measures, as may be necessary, within such reasonable time as any be specified therein and in case the owner or occupier, as the case may be, fails to comply with such directions, cause such remedial measures to be taken as are necessary to prevent or mitigate the environmental pollution at the cost of such owner or occupier of the premises.Power of Executive Authority to prevent environmental.pollution in certain cases.

(2) The expenses, if any, incurred by the Executive Authority with respect to the remedial measures referred to in sub-section (1), together with interest at such rate as the State Government may specify from the date when a demand for the expenses is made until it is paid, may be recovered by such authority or agency from the person concerned as arrears of land revenue or of public demand.

Section 11. Duty of HUDCO to extend financial assistance in certain cases

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in its Memorandum of Association or Articles of Association or schemes for the grant of loans for housing and urban development, it shall be the duty of HUDCO to extend, in suitable cases, financial assistance for the implementation of such schemes for the construction of water-seal latrines as may be made under section 6.

(2) The financial assistance referred to in sub-section (1) may be extended by HUDCO on such terms and conditions (including on easy and concessional rates of interest) and in such manner as it may think fit in each case or class of cases Power to levy fee.