The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed displeasure on the failure of Delhi Lt Governor, whom it termed "Superman", for not taking effective steps to tackle garbage problem in the city, after his office admitted that waste management comes within its jurisdiction.
A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta slammed Lt. Governor Anil Baijal for not taking appropriate action on the issue of solid waste management in Delhi and took into note that he did not attend crucial meetings on the issue and had not passed any directions too.
On Tuesday, the bench had asked who is responsible for clearing the "mountain loads of garbage" - those answerable to the Delhi Lt Governor or the Chief Minister. In response, both the Delhi government and the Lt Governor on Thursday told the court that the Lt Governor has the power to issue directions to authorities concerned under the provisions of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act on disposal of solid waste.
The bench said the meetings held by the Delhi Health Minister would not be not accepted by the Lt Governor because he would say it was chaired by someone without authority. "Who is the Health Minister according to LG?" asked the court.
"Nobody from LG's office bothered to attend meetings and he says I have the power. I am Superman... It's passing buck, he says 'I am responsible, I will not do anything, but you will be blamed'," the bench said.
"Your (LG) affidavit says it's (solid waste management) your responsibility. So don't bring Chief Minister into the picture," it added.
The court, which was upset as there was no concrete plan for solid waste management in the city and said "mountains of garbage" (three landfill sites) - Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa - indicate that Delhi is facing a grave situation and directed the Lt Governor's office to file an affidavit by July 16 on the time frame about the steps to be taken to deal with the situation.
The bench said the situation in Delhi was "absolutely bizarre", and referred to three landfill sites as "mountains of garbage".
It said there was a 65-metre mound at Ghazipur which was "only eight metres less than the historic Qutub Minar".
"What about Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa. Last time, we were told that it Ghazipur landfill had 62-metre mountain of garbage. Now your affidavit says it is 65 metre which is only eight metre less than the Qutub Minar," the bench added.
The top court, hearing a matter related to the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, had earlier directed the Central government to file a chart indicating whether the states and union territories have constituted state-level advisory boards in accordance with the provisions of Solid Waste Management Rules 2016.