Delhi garbage crisis: The Supreme Court on Thursday flayed Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal after he said the civic body was responsible for garbage disposal in the National Capital and he was in charge of monitoring it. Baijal’s statement came after the apex court asked who was responsible for the mounds of garbage in the city – Centre or the Delhi government?
“You say ‘I have power, I am a superman’. But you don’t do anything,” NDTV reported the judges as saying today. During the hearing, amicus curiae Colin Gonsalves claimed no official form the L-G office attended any meeting on cleaning up of Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalsawa landfill sites. PTI reported he Supreme Court has directed the office of L-G to file an affidavit by July 16 giving time frame of steps to be taken on solid waste management.
Slamming the L-G for not taking action on solid waste management, the top court said there is a “grave situation of mountains of garbage” in Delhi. The state policy on solid waste management, which has been framed by LG office, was termed by the SC as “Utopian.”
The SC bench comprising justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said no action has been taken by authorities, including the office of the LG due to which Delhi was facing the serious problem.
The SC direction to L-G comes days after its verdict on the power tussle between the Lieutenant Governor and the Aam Aadmi Party government. The top court had then held that LG has no independent power to take decisions and he is bound by the elected government’s aid and advice.
Solid waste management has become a major challenge for the city in the last few years. However, the government and the administration have shown little concern to deal with the ever-growing crisis.
In May this year, the Supreme Court had said that the piles of garbage lying in the landfill sites of Delhi was a “very serious problem”. Last year in September, a very small part of Ghazipur collapsed, taking two lives. Spread over 70 acres, the site holds 150 lakh tonnes of waste. It has been polluting the air, water and soil since 1984, even as it was expected to be shut in 2008.
On March 27 this year, the apex court had observed that days are not far when garbage mounds at the Ghazipur landfill site in Delhi will match the height of the iconic 73-metre high Qutub Minar and red beacon lights will have to be used to ward off aircraft flying over it.