Chennai: In keeping with provisions of a Central Act, manual scavenging will not be allowed in Tamil Nadu from March 15.
"The Governor of Tamil Nadu hereby notifies the 15th day of March, 2015 as the date from which no person, local authority or any agency shall, engage or employ, either directly or indirectly, any person for hazardous cleaning of a sewer or a septic tank," said the March 5 dated notification issued under a law enacted by Parliament in September 2013.
The notification was issued under Section 7 of Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, which enjoins state governments to notify a date from which no person shall be employed for manual scavenging.
The Act prohibits employment of individuals as manual scavengers and prescribes stringent punishment, including imprisonment up to five years.
Among other things, it has provisions for rehabilitation of manual scavengers and their family members.
Reacting to the notification, Change India Director Paadam A Narayanan, who fought for the law, said there were several other things needed to be done as per the provision of the Act like constituting state and district level committees to monitor implementation of the law.
"Ending manual scavening hinges on eliminating open defecation and ensuring sanitary latrines," he told PTI.
Narayanan had also also knocked on the doors of the judiciary, including Supreme Court, over the issue.