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The Supreme Court Friday asked the Delhi government to stop being a “bully” by blaming others for all problems, and directed its legislators to assist authorities in keeping the city clean.
Pointing at the garbage mounds near three landfill sites in the capital that stood at “half the height of Qutub Minar”, the court described the situation as “alarming” and said that elected representatives must work in tandem with other authorities to find a solution to this problem, apart from sensitising people.
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“It’s a bully who blames others for every problem. You are just blaming everybody. Don’t say MLAs do not have any responsibility to keep the city clean. It has to start from home. Your MLAs, your elected representatives, they should sensitise people. Don’t say that MLAs do not have responsibilities,” a bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur told Delhi government’s counsel Rahul Mehra.
Mehra had argued that garbage collection and disposal was the responsibility of municipal bodies and it would be “too much” to ask MLAs to look after it since they were occupied with several other tasks, including construction of drains, sewers and roads in their constituencies.
Shooting down Mehra’s contention, the bench told him unequivocally that MLAs must start putting their own house in order first, and directed MLAs of Okhla, Ghazipur and Bhalaswa to participate in a meeting that will be called by the Delhi Chief Secretary to deliberate “at the earliest, so that all issues of solid waste management, including segregation of garbage, can be taken care of”.
“Garbage mounds near landfill sites are above 45 metres. These are almost like towers such as Qutub Minar. Height of Qutub Minar is 73 metres and these mounds are more than half the size. It’s an alarming situation. Who is going to deal with it? You (government) have to deal with the problem,” it said.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Delhi Chief Secretary, had apprised the bench that near the three landfill sites at Okhla, Ghazipur and Bhalaswa, there were garbage mounds of the height of 45 metres. The SG assured the bench that steps were being taken and garbage was being disposed of. He said that at Okhla, a waste-to-energy plant has been set up and 16 MW of power was being produced from waste. Within one month, things will improve, he said.
At this, the bench asked the Delhi government to brace for problems in advance instead of taking measures later. “You have to be ready for the situation. Now that avian flu cases are being reported, Deer Park has been closed. Dengue and chikungunya cases are now low. You have to be ready for all situations,” it said while fixing the matter for hearing next on November 11.