Order of the High Court of Orissa on compensation payable to the families of the sanitation workers in Bhubaneswar and Kandhamal, Odisha, 06/07/2021

  • 06/07/2021

Order of the High Court of Orissa at Cuttack in the matter of In Re Death of Sanitation Workers Vs Chief Secretary & Others dated 06/07/2021.

The HC was looking at compensation payable to the families of the sanitation workers who died in the Bhubaneswar incident. The Amicus Curiae (AC) has informed the court that the affidavit filed by the Water Corporation (WATCO) - the families of two of the sanitation workers have been paid Rs. 5 lakhs each. Also since they were involved in construction of the septic tank they are liable to be compensated as per Schedule-4 of the Employees Compensation Act. The families are also entitled to the insurance benefit. The AGA informed the court that the state would extend all possible assistance and the payments would be paid to the families of the deceased sanitation workers.

The court requested the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Mayurbhanj, Odisha and Chaibasa, Jharkhand to extend every possible assistance to the families of the two victims located in their respective jurisdictions to ensure that the above amounts are paid to them.

It was brought to the notice of the court, that in response to the intervention by the court, the Housing and Urban Development Department, Odisha on May 7, 2021 issued a detailed advisory/set of instructions to all the Municipal Commissioners of the five Municipal Corporations in Odisha (Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur), to the municipal authorities in four towns (Balasore, Baripada, Bhadrak and Puri), the Executive Officer of all municipalities and Notified Area Councils (NACs), all other urban local bodies as well as to the Managing Director of WATCO, the Member Secretary, Orissa Water Supply Sewerage Board (OWSSB) on ‘Prohibition of human entry into septic tank and sewer network – functioning of Emergency Response Sanitation Units” (ERSUs).

The HC of Orissa directed the Additional Secretary to Government, Additional Mission Director, SBM (Urban) to file an affidavit on the status of the ERSUs.