The Delhi High Court today issued show cause notices to the Commissioners of all three wings of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), seeking their response on why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them.
The Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued the notice after a follow up news report was shown in the courtroom.
Two days ago, a news report pointing out how the authorities had abandoned their duties regarding garbage disposal was shown in the courtroom. After seeing the report, the court had appointed TV reporter Ankit Gupta of ABP News as the local commissioner to conduct further inspection of various areas of Delhi and submit information regarding the state of garbage disposal in the city.
The follow up report was equally damaging to the authorities. The roads and pathways of various areas of Delhi like Shastri Park, Geeta Colony, Sanjay Jheel, Mayur Vihar etc. could be seen to be filled with rotting garbage. The situation worsened due to unexpected rains.
The report showed that the Kalyan Puri garbage dump was being used to store old and mutilated cars while the garbage was dumped on the road. It was also reported that the garbage loaders/carriers came to places like Shashi Garden only on the whims and fancies of the officials.
Officials of the MCD and public welfare department of the Delhi Government were present during the hearing.A disappointed Justice Mittal stated that the presence of these officers is of no relevance as they have no answers. To the counsels representing various authorities
Central Government Standing Counsel Sanjeev Narula submitted that they have come up with an idea of an app which would allow people to upload pictures of the areas where there is garbage. The authorities would clean up the area within a few hours.
However, the Court said that it was not the job of the citizens to send photographs of unmanaged garbage and that it was their basic duty to ensure sanitation in the city. The Court observed that the authorities are ignoring the citizens’ right to a clean environment and that Delhi has been consciously converted into a slum.
“The court is constitutionally bound to ensure clean environment to the citizens.”
The Court also highlighted rampant conversion of residential properties for commercial use and regularization of unauthorized colonies as major contributors to excessive garbage.
Finally, the Court expressed gratitude to the team of ABP News for bringing such a pressing issue to light and for discharging the duties given by the court pro bono.
The matter will be next heard on June 21.