ibnlive » India

Jan 28, 2013 at 09:47pm IST

Jairam Ramesh urges Speaker Meira Kumar to push for bill on manual scavenging

New Delhi: Ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has called for Speaker Meira Kumar to push through the revised bill on manual scavenging. "I would request the Speaker to use her position so that in the coming Budget Session, the bill can be made into law," the minister said.

The Budget Session is likely to start in February. "This law is important because in this country, there are 26,00000 dry latrines. Every state government and central government tell the Supreme Court that they have eradicated manual scavenging," Ramesh said.

The minister added that the law passed in 1993 against manual scavenging has not yet yielded the desired result. "The new bill has the provision to eliminate all dry latrines," he said.

The practise of manual scavenging is still prevalent in India, with scavengers removing animal and human waste/excreta using brooms, tin plates and baskets from dry latrine. Ramesh had earlier termed manual scavenging as one of the "most shameful practices", while promising a law to address the menace.

"There is a consensus among many parties over this. If we try, we could pass it in the next two to three months," the minister said.