The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up Delhi authorities for poor waste management, reported PTI. “Will there be any person alive in Delhi in such a situation?” Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked, referring to the mounds of garbage across the national Capital.
The authorities have launched a pilot project for segregation of household waste in areas such as Defence Colony, Green Park and Maharani Bagh. The judges sought details of implementing the plan by August 14, and posted the matter for hearing on August 17.
When Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand told the judges that people were objecting to a landfill site in Sonia Vihar, the court suggested that civic authorities should dump the “waste on the Raj Niwas Marg”, where the lieutenant governor’s official residence is located.
“Are you suggesting that people cannot raise this issue like what was done in 1975 that if you ask something, you will be put in jail?” the court asked, according to The Times of India. “Lives of people are going to be affected if you put garbage in front of their house. They have a right to say that do not put garbage in front on my house. It is a criminal offence. People will object to it. You will have to find a solution. You cannot just shift the garbage like this.”
The court pointed out that areas under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s jurisdiction generate 3,600 tonnes of waste daily. Of this, 1,800 tonnes is thrown at the landfill site. Anand told the court that by December 2019 all the waste generated in such areas would be sent to waste to energy and processing plants.
“Ganga Ram Hospital has done a study which says that 50% of population of Delhi has a chance of having lung cancer even if they do not smoke,” said the court. “The Niti Aayog says that in 2019, there will be shortage of water in Delhi. Will there be any person alive in Delhi in such a situation? 1,800 tonnes a day is huge. What will happen from now till December 2019?”
During a hearing on July 12, the court had taken a jibe at the lieutenant governor and said Anil Baijal claimed to be a “superman” but had done nothing to address the problem. The court had earlier demanded to know who was the authority responsible for garbage management in the city. “Is it the office of the chief minister or lieutenant governor or the Centre?” it had asked.
While the Aam Aadmi Party leads the government in Delhi, all the civic bodies are under the Bharatiya Janata Party’s control. In the last few years, there have been several instances of sanitation workers going on strike for long periods after not being paid wages regularly.