NGT slaps govt, EDMC with show-cause notice
NEW DELHI: A National Green Tribunal (NGT) Bench, headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, on Monday issued show-cause notices to the Delhi government, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and other agencies over the Ghazipur landfill collapse, which claimed two lives.
The Bench, also comprising Justice R S Rathore, took on the administration, observing that "nothing can be more humiliating than people being killed under garbage hill."
"Why did you not carry out the directions of the tribunal which have been issued time and again? Are people of Delhi expected to meet this fate? Are they supposed to die under a garbage dump?
"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?
"It is unfortunate that in the Capital of the country the people are stated to have died under the garbage hill because of improper, unscientific and indiscriminate dumping of municipal solid waste at this site.
"You are killing people in the national capital under the hill of garbage. It cannot be more humiliating," Kumar said.
"Why should tribunal not award compensation to the family of the persons who died as a result of this unfortunate incident which resulted from sheer negligence of authorities," the bench added.
It also issued notice to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to show cause why it has not started lifting segregated waste despite specific direction of the tribunal. The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on September 12.
Earlier, the NGT had warned EDMC that the height of the Ghazipur landfill site had crossed the danger limit; yet, the civic body continued dumping garbage there. The permissible height for a garbage dump is 20 metres.
According to officials of the EDMC, the landfill site – which was was started in 1984 and is spread over 29 acres – reached saturation in 2002.
Every day, 2,500-3,000 metric tonnes of garbage are dumped at the Ghazipur site. The humongous heap sits like a leviathan, with eagles and crows circling it, as the stench from the mound of trash seeps into the air.
Officials noted that whenever they tried to make a different landfill, local authorities and people protested and the work could not move forward. This time too, people of Ranikhera, the new landfill site, have been protesting against the decision.