The stray cattle menace in the city has now forced the Delhi High Court to demand an explanation from Delhi Jal Board chief Ramesh Negi for lack of water supply in the Ghogha Dairy Colony,the alternative site in Outer Delhi where all illegal dairies are to be shifted.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had earlier told the court that the shift was not possible until there is sufficient water supply in the area. The court had then sought a response from the DJB and was assured by the counsel of the water utility that a counter affidavit would be filed.
On the last date of hearing,however,no one was present in court to present DJB response.
Infuriated over the no-show,a Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan sent a special messenger to the DJB office to serve its summon on CEO Negi.
Despite the undertaking,a counter affidavit has not been filed. Today,no one is present on behalf of the Delhi Jal Board. In view of the aforesaid,the Chief Executive Officer of the Delhi Jal Board shall remain personally present in court on the next date of hearing,failing which this court may be compelled to issue appropriate directions,as advised by law, said the Bench.
The petition in the matter was filed by one Chandra Bhan through his counsel Lalit Bhardwaj. The petition had alleged that despite the courts repeated orders,the MCD and the NDMC had failed to shift illegal dairies to Ghogha,in the outskirts of Delhi.
When questioned,the MCD told the court that the Ghogha Colony had all facilities,but there was no water supply in the area. The MCD counsel also said there had been deliberations with the DJB,but no results had come of them,leading to a delay in shifting of dairies.
The Bench had then made the DJB a party to the case and sought an explanation from the Jal Board counsel.
Responding to the court order,a senior DJB official told Newsline: The water utility will file its affidavit for the next hearing and explain its position and various constraints to the court. The DJB will do whatever is required as per the directions of the court.
In 2002,while hearing the PIL seeking a direction to the MCD to take measures against stray cattle,the court had asked the civic agency to shift the dairies from urban areas of the city. After a few years of non-compliance,applications were filed before the court prompting the Division Bench,in May 2007,to tell the MCD to shift illegal dairies by August 31,2008.
While the MCD has developed 2,080 plots at Ghogha Dairy,shifting of around 2,400 illegal dairies is yet to be done.