Pollution: SC slams AAP govt for ‘passing the buck’ to MCD, warns of expenditure audit on popularity slogans

By: |
November 15, 2021 4:18 PM

The Delhi government told the top court that 69 Mechanical Road Sweeper machines have been deployed by road owning agencies and 85,000 KM of road length was swept.

pollution delhiThe apex court had also said it has become a fashion to blame the farmers for air pollution. (File)

The Supreme Court Monday slammed the Delhi government for “passing the buck” to municipal corporations over road sweeping machines and warned that its “lame excuses” will compel it to hold an audit inquiry into total revenue earnings and expenditure on advertisements.

When senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, told bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana that it has deployed 69 mechanical road sweeper machines to clean the dust from the roads, it asked, “Are these machines sufficient for entire Delhi?”

Mehra said Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is the one that sees all this as it’s an independent and autonomous body.

He said the Mayor or the concerned corporation staff may place an affidavit on record as to whether this is enough.

The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant, took exception to this and said, “You’ are passing the buck to MCD again”.

“These kind of lame excuses will compel us to find out and hold an audit inquiry into total revenue you are collecting and spending on popularity slogans instead of looking after people,” the bench said.

The Delhi government in its affidavit told the top court that 69 Mechanical Road Sweeper (MRS) machines have been deployed across city by road owning agencies and more than 85,000 KM of road length was swept using these machines.

It also told the apex court that 372 water sprinklers have been deployed across Delhi for suppressing dust particles on roads and more than 22,000 kms of road length have been sprinkled during October 2021 till November 13, 2021.

On Saturday, the top court had asked the Delhi government about the steps taken by it to control air pollution in the national capital and sought to know if the smog towers installed by it were working.

The apex court had also said it has become a fashion to blame the farmers for air pollution.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, who sought directions to provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently inaugurated the “country’s first smog tower” at Connaught Place in Delhi and said it will prove to be a milestone and many such structures can be installed in the city if the pilot project yields results.

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