Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain Sunday threatened “strict action” against Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) officials, who were present at Mayapuri Saturday to ensure shops flouting environment norms are sealed .
Addressing a press conference, Hussain said he was kept out of the loop regarding the action, which was ordered by the National Green Tribunal. “I want to know under whose instructions they were there? They did not inform me nor did they take my approval. I am the Environment Minister, how was I bypassed? I will write to the L-G, telling him to take strict action against DPCC officials who were involved, irrespective of their post or seniority, as they proceeded to Mayapuri without the approval of the minister,” he said.
The DPCC, which comes under the Environment Ministry, is part of a seven-member Special Task Force formed on the NGT’s orders to take action against “illegal and unauthorised scrap industries in Mayapuri”.
As it became clear that sealing was done at the NGT’s behest and orders were passed by the DPCC, AAP hit back at the BJP and the Centre. It said the ultimate blame lay with them as the centrally governed Delhi Development Authority failed to give land for relocation of the Mayapuri scrap yard. In Delhi, land does not fall under the jurisdiction of the state government.
“Union Minister Hardeep Puri has admitted that these industries were to be relocated. So, who has to give land for relocation of these industries? If today he is referring to the NGT order of 2015, then who was to provide the land?
Where were Mr Puri and his ministry since the 2015 NGT order?… I challenge the BJP to answer that when it is your appointed Lieutenant Governor, your Delhi Police, land is with your central government, you say transfers and postings of officers — SDMs, DMs, MCD commissioners and deputy commissioners — will all be done by your central government, why are you running away from taking responsibility of what happened in Mayapuri and shifting the blame?” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.
Puri, in a series of tweets, however, said it was the responsibility of the Delhi government and CM Arvind Kejriwal to figure out an action plan to carry out the NGT’s orders and protect the industry. “He should have requested NGT for more time,” Puri said.
The NGT’s April 11 order, however, makes it clear that all applications and explanations given by different departments were kept aside as there was no merit to any of them. It had ordered officials to take action immediately or face imprisonment.
Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta, meanwhile, said pollution control is the sole responsibility of the AAP government: “The court had instructed the government to relocate the scrap industry in 2015, but Kejriwal was sleeping over the issue. He could have taken some time from the NGT and shifted them in a phased manner.”