Concerned at the “dismal” state of waste management and disposal in the city, the Delhi High Court on Friday summoned the Commissioners of the three municipal bodies asking them to explain why rules regarding garbage disposal are not being adhered to. A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Jayant Nath also sought the personal presence of the Member Secretary of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to explain whether it has prosecuted anyone for causing pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR). The officials have to appear before the court on the next date of hearing on December 1, 2016.
The direction came after amicus curiae and senior advocate Kailash Vasdev told the court that rules regarding solid waste management and regulation of landfill sites were not being adhered to by the municipal bodies.
The bench also noted that DPCC was not taking any action against the corporations for non-compliance of the rules and sought the presence of its Member Secretary to show the court the number of prosecutions initiated or carried out by the agency under the Environment Protection Act.
“Why do we have these rules? Why do we make them? The problem with India is implementation. We cannot implement anything,” the bench said and added “such a dismal state of affairs. Just rubbish and ‘malba’ (debris) everywhere.”
DPCC, represented by advocate Sanjeev Ralli, said none of the landfill sites came up with any authorisation and it cannot order their closure as it had not given permission to set them up. Ralli said it was the corporations’ duty to stop operation of the sites once they have reached a particular height.
The court, however, did not agree with the submission and said it was the duty of DPCC, as the watchdog, to prevent pollution and it has to tell the corporations that their landfills do not conform to the norms.
The bench said if authorities like the municipal corporations and Delhi Development Authority say they cannot do anything “then why should they be there? We will remove them”.