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SC slams LG for inaction in clearing 'mountains of garbage' in Delhi

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The today castigated the over for his attitude of being "a superman" but doing nothing to get the "mountains of garbage" of the city cleared, with one of the dumping sites has even reached a height close to that of the Qutub Minar.

Terming the situation in as "absolutely bizarre", the top court referred to the "mountains of garbage" at three landfill sites in Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa, and said there was a 65-metre mound at Ghazipur which was "only eight metre less than the historic Qutub Minar".

A bench of Justices and also questioned the "attitude" of the and said no from his office had bothered to attend a meeting chaired by the Delhi's on the issue of solid

"Here nobody from the office bothered to attend the meeting and he (LG) says that I have the power and I am the 'superman'," the bench observed, adding "this is nothing but passing the buck. The (municipal) corporations are doing this, so it is their duty. Because I (LG) am a powerful man, nobody can touch me and I will not do nothing. This is the attitude".

Referring to the affidavits filed by the office of the and the government, the bench said both of them have said that question of solid in Delhi was the responsibility of the municipal corporations and the LG has the authority to issue directions in this regard under the Act.

"Is the office of the LG responsible? According to your affidavit, the answer is yes. Then do not bring the into this," the bench said.

The court said the height of the dumping sites have exceeded to such an extent and this was the "indication of inaction or action" of the LG's office which has failed to remove solid waste from these sites.

The bench also observed that despite the LG convening 25 meetings on the issue and making certain field visits, "nothing has happened" and it could be anybody's guess about what happened in these deliberations.

"Inspite of these meetings, there are mountains of dumps in Delhi," it said, adding that the national capital required serious attention on the issue of solid

"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 observed.

The bench also dubbed as "utopian", the 'state policy on solid waste management strategy', which has been framed by the LG office, and observed that perhaps it would be impossible to implement it as the East (EDMC) and North (NDMC) do not have funds to carry out day-to-day affairs.

"We find it rather surprising that due to shortage of funds, parts of Delhi will be converted into dump sites," it said.

The bench directed the office of the LG to file an affidavit by July 16 indicating the steps which it supposed to take to deal with the situation.

Meanwhile, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) told the bench that height of one-fifth of the Okhla has come down by around 10 metre in the last eight months and by March next year, it was likely to reduce seven metres further.

Colin Gonsalves, assisting the court as an amicus curiae, referred to the steps taken by the municipal corporation to deal with the issue of solid waste management and said similar efforts were on in Gurgaon also.

He said environment-friendly steps had been taken in to deal with solid waste and it has been very successful there.

The apex court, while asking the of to remain present before it on July 16, said the LG's office could also take advise from him about the availability of expertise to deal with the situation.

Pinky Anand, appearing for the LG office as well as the Delhi government, told the court about the steps being taken by the LG in this regard.

Anand said that at the intervention of LG, the of the Centre had set up an advisory committee under Dr of IIT Delhi and the panel has given its report in the matter.

During the hearing, the bench observed that the height of the landfill sites in Delhi has gone up to 160 feet but the proposed by the authorities was much less than what was required.

"We do not know what is the use of power when he (LG) is not doing anything. He has to act and not hold meetings. Do not tell us about these 25 meetings. Do not try to justify this. You have to accept that nothing has happened," the bench told Anand.

Anand told the court about the steps which were already taken and which the agencies have proposed to take.

Referring to the affidavits filed before it, the bench said, "it says everything except about cleaning of garbage".

The apex court had on the last date of hearing asked the Centre and the to clarify who could be held responsible for clearing the "mountain loads of garbage" in the national capital -- those reporting to LG or to

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 18:35 IST
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