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Taking Delhi’s civic bodies to task for failing to clear the city of waste materials, Delhi High Court on Wednesday called the municipalities “non-starters” saying they would start running only after “we whip you from behind.” Demanding “a perceptible difference in cleanliness” in the national capital, a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar directed municipal and other civic bodies to carry out a second drive to cleanse the city as the first one, a fortnight-long drive carried out in December, had failed to show the expected results.
“Why is it so difficult to move the public bodies and the government to take steps? All of you are non-starters. There is no winner in a race between you, as no one is running unless we whip you from behind. Why do you want courts to become slave drivers,” the bench asked after it was told by the corporation that bins for segregation of waste have not been installed.
The high court said that on December 14 last “we had directed a drive to be undertaken for 15 days for removal of ‘malba’ from parks and road sides. Though some steps have been taken, the results expected have not been realised.
“A further drive of 10 days be undertaken starting tomorrow. Report of fresh drive be filed at least a day before the next day of hearing. We want to see a perceptible difference in cleanliness in Delhi.”
The bench said that none of the three corporations have installed separate dustbins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, despite its directions. It, however, noted that the New Delhi Municipal Council has claimed to have installed such bins.
“Some forward movement is there, but it is far from satisfactory,” the court said and warned the civic bodies “We do not want to be pushed into taking action resulting in coercive measures.”
The court was hearing a PIL by Col (Rtd) B B Sharan who has sought directions for maintaining cleanliness in Delhi.
During the hearing, the court suggested to the Public Works Department of Delhi government and the three municipal corporations to plant grass or pave the land where they remove the rubble, as the layer of dust left behind added to air pollution.