Lambasting the three municipal corporations for their “lack of will to work”, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked them to streamline the duties of safai karamcharis to ensure regular removal of garbage from the city roads. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar suggested installing of biometric attendance system and use of instant messaging application like WhatsApp to ensure the presence of safai karamcharis for cleanliness in the area they are entrusted with.
“There is a lacuna in assigning of the work to the safai karamcharis and their presence on the spot. Try and streamline a process through which those present at the site can send the picture of the area they have cleaned.” They were also asked to put their attendance on the biometric machines, twice or thrice a day. “You regulate their working hours, there will be visible difference in Delhi today and tomorrow,” the bench said, adding that “because of your lack of will to work, people of Delhi cannot be made to suffer from malaria, dengue and chikungunya”.
The bench made the observation while asking the MCDs that if they were ensuring proper work, why was so much garbage seen on the city roads. It also said the supervisors should personally keep a tab on the safai karamcharis, so that they perform their duties.
On this, the counsel for the corporations told the court that the people living in unauthorised colony threw garbage on the on roads which remained uncleaned some time. The bench said for such problems, the authorities should have thought before regularising the unauthorised colonies. “You (Delhi government and MCDs) are lavishly regularising colonies. See what we have to face. Stop ruthless regularisation. Right to shelter for one cannot be inconvenience to other law-abiding citizens,” the bench said.
It also asked the authorities to create an awareness programme and educate people of Delhi to overcome such a situation. “We need to move ahead and undergo some education, like the Delhi State Legal Services Authority is already working on a project in this regard,” the bench said and sought to know the action plan of the Centre, the Delhi government and the MCDs for disposing of the garbage.
It also asked the Delhi government to inform it about the funds they have been paying to all the three corporations here for making payment to the safai karamcharis. The matter was then listed for hearing tomorrow. The court was hearing two pleas accusing the AAP government and the MCDs of not acting vigilantly and responsibly to control dengue and chikungunya outbreaks.
Earlier during the hearing of the pleas, it had also noted that there has been “wilful violation and disobedience” of the court orders to collect and dispose of garbage. The court had taken note of the matter after a TV news channel showed garbage “overflowing” on to roads from ‘dhalaos’ and “stretching for miles”. The issue of lack of solid waste disposal was taken up by the court after it was told that it contributes to breeding of mosquitoes which cause vector borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya.