Apex court slams L-G for inaction in clearing 'mountains of garbage'
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday castigated the Delhi Lieutenant Governor over for his attitude of being "a superman" but doing nothing to get the "mountains of garbage" of the city cleared, with one of the dumping sites even reaching a height close to that of the Qutub Minar.
Terming the situation in Delhi as "absolutely bizarre", the top court referred to the "mountains of garbage" at three landfill sites in Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa, and said there was a 65-metre mound at Ghazipur which was "only eight meters less than the historic Qutub Minar".
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also questioned the "attitude" of the LG and said no official from his office had bothered to attend a meeting chaired by the Delhi's health minister on the issue of solid waste management.
"Here nobody from the LG office bothered to attend the meeting, and he (LG) says that I have the power and I am the 'superman'," the bench observed, adding "this is nothing but passing the buck. The (municipal) corporations are doing this, so it is their duty. Because I (LG) am a powerful man, nobody can touch me, and I will not do anything. This is the attitude".
Referring to the affidavits filed by the office of the LG and the Delhi government, the bench said both of them have said that question of solid waste management in Delhi was the responsibility of the municipal corporations and the LG has the authority to issue directions in this regard under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.
"Is the office of the LG responsible? According to your affidavit, the answer is yes. Then do not bring the Chief Minister into this," the bench said.
The court said the height of the dumping sites have exceeded to such an extent and this was the "indication of inaction or action" of the LG's office which has failed to remove solid waste from these sites.
The bench also observed that despite the LG convening 25 meetings on the issue and making certain field visits, "nothing has happened" and it could be anybody's guess about what happened in these deliberations.
"Despite these meetings, there are mountains of dumps in Delhi," it said, adding that the national capital required serious attention on the issue of solid waste management.
"What about Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa. Last time, we were told that it (Ghazipur landfill) had a 62-metre mountain of garbage. Now your affidavit says it is 65 metre which is only eight meters less than the Qutub Minar," the bench observed.
The bench also dubbed as "utopian", the 'state policy on solid waste management strategy', which has been framed by the LG office, and observed that perhaps it would be impossible to implement it as the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), and North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) do not have funds to carry out day-to-day affairs.
"We find it rather surprising that due to the shortage of funds, parts of Delhi will be converted into dump sites," it said.
The bench directed the office of the LG to file an affidavit by July 16 indicating the steps which it supposed to take to deal with the situation.