A PIL was filed at the Bombay High Court, against the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation for providing safety equipments. It was also filed to ensure that the health care workers are provided with necessary safety equipment and sanitation facilities.
Contentions of the Petitioner
The PIL was filed on behalf of the 6277 workers who work for the Respondent authorities. Around 3261 workers of the total workers are working in the area of solid waste management, and include handling garbage and cleaning of roads. Sadly, these workers have to do work with bare hands, as the Authorities do not provide them with clean water to wash themselves. Some of the workers are employed at Hospitals and Health posts. But even in these places, there is a lack of protective equipment such as hand sanitizers, gloves and PPE Kits etc.
The Petitioner have submitted that they asked the Respondent several times to look into this matter. However, they never responded. The Deputy Commissioner also visited Hazari shades and saw that the situation was grave but 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 since they are contractual employers.
Thus, the Counsel contended that the workers are working in, inhumane conditions. Further, due to the lack of protective equipment this led to a few cases of corona-virus among the workers. Amidst the same, the authorities must provide all the necessary protective equipment to the workers without any delay.
Contentions of the Respondent
In the order dated May 12, 2020, the court asked the Respondent authorities to file details related to the number of masks that are in their possession. Also, at what prices they buy the masks and how often the government provides new masks and sanitisers to the workers.
Mr Tushar Pawar replied to the order on May 14th 2020. He stated that the authorities do provide equipment through contractors. Additionally, he provided documental evidence showing that a few members received the protective material.
The petitioner prays to issue an order directing to provide good quality protective equipment. That further, the authorities be directed by the court to make proper water connections at Hazari shades and offer Rs. 300 per day to workers. They also added that the benefit of the insurance schemes should also extend to the workers.
The Court held that they cannot conduct an inquiry for this matter. Furthermore, it said that the authorities have to provide an all-week supply of protective equipment to Petitioners from Monday. They also asked the Petitioner to issue a receipt for the same. Lastly, the Court also asked the Respondent to file an affidavit for the matter of insurance benefit.
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