Is building an Insanitary Latrine unlawful?

Last updated on Jun 22, 2022

It is unlawful and an offence under the Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 for any person, municipality, panchayat or agency to build an insanitary latrine that requires human waste to be removed manually by a person before the waste has properly decomposed.

Local authorities must carry out a survey of insanitary latrines in their area and publish a list of all the identified latrines. The local authorities are responsible for the building and maintenance of these community sanitary latrines and must make sure that they are functional and hygienic.

The punishment for first-time offenders constructing or engaging or employing someone to construct an insanitary latrine is jail time up to one year as well as a fine for up to Rs. 50,000. Second-time offenders can face jail time up to two years and a fine of up to Rs. 1,00,000.

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Related Resources

Is it legal to employ a Manual Scavenger?

It is illegal to employ someone as a manual scavenger. For cleaning sewer or a septic tank, necessary protective gear must be provided.

How can Manual Scavengers be rehabilitated?

The Municipality and the Panchayat have a duty to rehabilitate those involved in manual scavenging based on the list prepared from survey.

Who is a Manual Scavenger?

A manual scavenger is employed to handle undecomposed human waste from an insanitary latrine, open drain or pit or railway track.

Who is responsible for Demolishing or Converting an Insanitary latrine?

The person who occupies the property on which an ‘insanitary latrine’ exists has to demolish or convert it.

How to file a complaint for Safai Karamcharis?

If laws for safai karamcharis are not followed, you can file a complaint to the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK).

Reporting a Crime/Atrocity

If a crime has been committed against you due to your identity as member of the SC/STs, you can approach several places for immediate relief.