The PIL filed at the Bombay High Court, asked for directions to ensure that the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation provides all the necessary protective equipment to the sanitation and health care workers.
The petitioner filed a PIL on behalf of the 6277 workers who work for the respondent authorities. The counsel contended that around 3261 workers of the total workers are working in the area of solid waste management. It also includes handling garbage and cleaning of roads. However, they have to do work with bare hands. Authorities do not provide clean water to them for washing their hands and foot. Some of the workers are employees at Hospitals and Health posts. They do not have protective equipment such as hand sanitizer, gloves and PPE Kits.
Petitioner also submitted that they had requested the equipment many times. However, they never responded. The Deputy Commissioner also visited Hazari shades. Moreover, he saw that situation was grave. Nevertheless, he did not take any steps to lessen it. The counsel also stated that they are not getting their daily allowance of Rs. 300 per day because they are contractual employers.
Thus, the counsel also contended that the workers are working in the inhumane conditions. Even the lack of protective equipment also led to some cases of corona-virus among workers. Thus authorities must provide all the necessary protective equipment to the workers. They should provide types of equipment without any delay.
In the order dated May 12 2020, the court asked the respondent authorities to file details related to the no. of masks that are in their possession. Also, at what prices they buy masks. Furthermore, how often the government provide new masks, sanitisers to the workers.
In its reply on May 14, Mr Tushar Pawar stated that the authorities give protective equipment to the workers through contractors. He also showed the documents to show that some members have received the protective material.
The petitioner wants the Court to direct the respondents to give good quality protective equipment to workers. They want the court to ask authorities to ensure proper water connections at Hazari Shades. They should also offer Rs.300 per day to workers. The Central Government’s insurance scheme should include these workers.
The Court stated that it could not conduct an inquiry for this matter.
Thus, the Court in its decision stated that-
The authorities give all the necessary equipment to the representative of the union, every Monday for the whole week. The petitioner must issue a receipt for the same. Furthermore, the Court asked the respondents to file an affidavit for extension of the benefit of the Insurance Scheme to workers.
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