The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday issued showcause notices to the Delhi government, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) over the collapse at Ghazipur landfill which claimed two lives three days ago.
In its notice, the green panel asked why criminal proceedings should be not initiated against the erring municipal officials for the death of two persons. It also suggested that the kin of victims be given compensation as the incident was due to the negligence of the civic authorities.
A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar rapped the AAP government and civic bodies for not discharging their duties. “Why did you not carry out the directions of the tribunal which have been issued time and again? We had asked you to reduce the height of the dump and take appropriate measures for reduction of the waste. Why didn’t you do it? You are killing people in the national capital under the hill of garbage. It cannot be more humiliating than this,” the NGT chief was quoted by PTI. The matter will be heard on September 12.
Eyewitnesses say that on September 1, a massive heap came crashing down from a top of a 50-metre mountain of garbage, “broke off and collapsed” into the Hindon canal. The water from the canal and the garbage then swept away cars and motorbikes around the area. The force of the water spill was such that a concrete wall bordering the landfill was destroyed and more than 14 streetlights were left lopsided. Rescue operations were conducted to search for the people who had been reported missing.
After the incident, an emergency meeting was called by Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal with officials of the EDMC, NHAI and DDA where it was decided that “no more solid waste would be dumped at Ghazipur landfill site”. The civic authorities have listed rains as the cause of collapse at the dumping site.