The Supreme Court on Thursday criticised Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal for not fixing the national Capital’s garbage problem despite having the power to resolve it.
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday demanded to know the authority responsible for garbage management in Delhi and asked the state government and the lieutenant governor to file an affidavit fixing accountability for the Capital’s trash problem. The court had sought a response on Delhi’s three mountains of garbage – the landfill sites at Okhla, Bhalswa and Ghazipur.
In response, Baijal’s office on Thursday told the court that garbage disposal was the job of the municipal corporations of Delhi, and they answered to him.
To this, the bench of Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta said, “You [lieutenant governor] say ‘I have power, I am a Superman’. But you don’t do anything,” according to NDTV.
“You say the corporations are answerable to you,” the court said. “Tell us within how much time will you clear the sites. Why should the corporations be asked? You are the L-G. You should have found out by now.”
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand refused to commit to a timeline to clean the garbage, the Hindustan Times reported. She told the court she will revert after getting instructions.
While the Aam Aadmi Party leads the government in Delhi, all the civic bodies are under the control of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In the last few years, there have been several instances of sanitation workers going on strike for long periods to protest against unpaid wages among other things. AAP leaders have blamed the BJP-led municipal corporations for the garbage problem while the BJP has accused the Delhi government of “playing politics” and not releasing funds.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court pulled up 10 states and two union territories for not filing affidavits on their policies for solid waste management strategy. In March, the court had said that India would “go down under the garbage one day”.
The hearings are related to a matter from 2015 when the Supreme Court took cognisance of the suicide of the parents of a seven-year-old boy, who died of dengue after allegedly being denied treatment by five private hospitals.