High Court disapproves of dumping garbage on roads as mark of protests

Expressing disapproval over the practice of dumping garbage on roads as a mark of protest, the Delhi High Court has said it was “completely intolerable”.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar was referring to the recent agitation by New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) contractual sanitation workers who dumped garbage outside prominent buildings, like Shastri Bhavan and Rail Bhavan in Lutyen’s Delhi, demanding regularisation of jobs and better wages.

The protesting workers on May 24 had also dumped garbage outside NDMC’s Convention Centre.

The garbage dumps had affected traffic in some areas.

Referring to the incident, the high court said,”This is no way of protesting. It is completely intolerable. It is also a public health issue.”

This is not the first time that municipal staff have resorted to this manner of protest.

A few years back sanitation workers of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) had dumped garbage on roads and even prevented private players, temporarily hired by the civic body, from cleaning it up.

They were protesting against non-payment of wages for several months.

The high court had to step in and issue directions to ensure cleanliness in the areas under EDMC control.

Ghazipur landfill site saturated, EDMC moves NGT seeking alternative land

The saturation of the Ghazipur landfill site and non-availability of alternative land to manage garbage has prompted the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) to move the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The EDMC today moved an application seeking urgent direction to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to hand over a 130-acre piece of land at Sonia Vihar and a 50-acre plot at Ghonda Gujran for solid waste management facilities on a priority basis.

A bench headed by acting Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim directed the DDA to file its reply before April 23, the next date of hearing.

During the hearing, advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for the EDMC, said the two pieces of lands were approved and appraised by the Central Pollution Control Board and it should be handed over to the corporation for handling municipal solid waste.

Advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for the DDA, told the bench that a detailed reply would be filed by it.

“The only available site in EDMC jurisdiction i.e., Ghazipur landfill site which was fully saturated way back in 2000 continues to get 1,600 metric tonnes of waste of Delhi on a daily basis even after 17 years of the scheduled closure.

“This is an alarming situation since the gases trapped in the site are a ticking time bomb, which, if an explosion takes place, will result in cataclysmic repercussion for the thousands of people who live in close proximity thereto,” the plea read.

Recently, deaths have occurred due to landslides at the landfill site, which has risen up to 65 meters, about 40 meters more than the permissible limit, it read.

The experts consulted in this regard, including Manoj Dutta from IIT Delhi, have clearly stated that no reparation work on the site is possible, if continued dumping occurs, the plea added.

“The only reparation including composting, bio-stabilisation, windroz dressing, conversion into biodiversity park (on the lines Swarn Jayanti Park on Ring Road) can only take place, if this landfill site closes for good. There is no other alternative possible in these circumstances,” the EDMC said.

The tribunal had earlier directed the Delhi government and the civic bodies to submit an action plan for identifying alternative landfill sites and setting up waste-to-energy plants in the city.

It had said it was unfortunate that at a time when the national capital was grappling with the huge quantum of waste to the tune of 14,000 metric tonnes on a daily basis, the authorities were involved in a “blame game” and showing an irresponsible attitude.

With the rapid development and massive urbanisation of the megacity, the waste generation was increasing on a daily basis which has resulted in the saturation of the existing landfill sites which can handle only up to 7,000 metric tonnes of waste, the tribunal had said.

Delhi govt, EDMC in war of words over blaze in landfill site

Delhi govt, EDMC in war of words over blaze in landfill site
Delhi govt, EDMC in war of words over blaze in landfill site

The National Green Tribunal today witnessed a war of words between the Delhi government and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) over the recent fire that broke out at the Ghazipur landfill site here.

The blaze at Ghazipur landfill in east Delhi erupted on October 19 and 20 and was extinguished after hours of fire- fighting operations.

When a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked EDMC lawyer Balendu Shekhar about the fire incident and asked him to see a video of the blaze, he informed the tribunal that immediate action was taken when fire was noticed on October 19 at 2 pm and fire tenders were called instantly.

However, due to the lackadaisical approach of the fire department, the fire-tending vehicles reached the landfill site at 2:30 pm and the second extinguisher reached only by 6:00 pm, the EDMC lawyer said.

The counsel for the Delhi government, who also represents the fire department, alleged non-cooperation on the part of the municipal corporation and said it has not given space for fire tending vehicles to station permanently at the landfill site resulting in the delay.

The bench then asked the EDMC lawyer to produce proof of correspondence and letters exchanged between the municipal corporation and the fire department with regard to action taken on the fire incident.

The matter was listed for next hearing on October 27.

Irked at the approach of the authorities, the green panel had earlier directed the EDMC to immediately start the work of “segregation, compaction and bio-remediation of the municipal solid waste” with the help of the Delhi government.

It had directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to open tender for deciding on the agency to carry out the segregation of waste at the Ghazipur landfill site, subject to receiving sanction from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

“Immediately thereafter they should award the work and ensure that the operation or segregation at the site would start without any further delay. Looking at the severity of the problem arising out of massive municipal solid waste, we do hope that the ministry would act expeditiously,” it said.

On September 4, the NGT had come down heavily on the AAP government and the EDMC over the Ghazipur landfill collapse in which two persons were killed, saying “nothing can be more humiliating than people being killed under a garbage hill”.

A portion of the 45 m-high garbage dump in east Delhi’s Ghazipur collapsed on September 1 because of heavy rain, killing two people and pushing a car and three two wheelers off the road and into a canal.

( Source – PTI )

HC reserves verdict on pleas against MCD election

The Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict on pleas seeking quashing of the notification laying down the manner of allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls.

“Arguments heard. Judgement reserved,” a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar

said.

Terming the petitions as “absurd”, the Delhi state election commission has told the court that there was “no unreasonableness” in the process of the allocation of the seats.

It argued that none of the political parties, who are the major stake holders in the present poll, has challenged their formula.

“It was so, because they were part of the consultation process, after which only we have taken the decision,” the commission, represented by advocate Sumeet Pushkarna, said.

It was responding to the pleas by NGOs and several social activists, who have sought quashing of the notification laying down the manner of allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls.

They have also challenged the commission’s February 6 notification, announcing the election for 272 wards of the three municipal corporations here.

The elections are scheduled to be held on April 22.

In its pleas, the NGOs have said that the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) in 2011 was divided into three zone — North Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

They said while the number of wards in each of the three corporations 104 each in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and 64 in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has remained the same, the number of wards in a few assembly segments has changed, ranging from three to seven.

Claiming that the present notification was contrary to the Constitution as well as Section 3 of the DMC Act, one of the pleas demanded that it should be quashed and a fresh circular issued in accordance with the law.

It has sought direction to identify and determine the municipal wards for the purpose of reservation for scheduled caste, women and general category in terms of Article 243 of the Constitution.

The Article provides for reservation of seats for the scheduled castes in the municipal area by rotation to different constituency in the municipality.

Source : PTI

NGT notice to over 1400 pollution defaulters

NGT notice to over 1400 pollution defaulters
NGT notice to over 1400 pollution defaulters

The National Green Tribunal today issued notice to over 1400 defaulters, who have not paid environmental compensation for violating its order on waste burning and dust pollution, on a plea filed by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar also issued notice to the Sub Divisional Magistrate concerned of the district to explain why the tribunal’s order on recovery of environmental compensation (EC) from the defaulters was not implemented.

It noted that EDMC has said in its plea that there were 336 defaulters for burning waste and 1082 defaulters for causing dust pollution who have not paid the challan amount.

“Notice be issued to all the parties and be served by the corporation. The defaulters are directed to appear before the tribunal on the next date of hearing — January 30.

“Notice be also issued to the SDM of the district to explain why the order of the tribunal was not implemented for recovery of EC,” the bench said.

Advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for EDMC, said challans were issued against defaulters in compliance of the tribunal’s order and several of them have not paid the amount.

He said in view of the green panel’s April 28, 2015 order, any person found burning in open any kind of garbage leaves, waste plastic, rubber, self-moulding compound or any other such material, he or she would be liable to pay Rs 5,000 compensation under the National Green Tribunal Act for polluting the environment.

“There are two zones — Shahdara (north) and Shahdara (south) zone in EDMC. As on date, a total of 520 challans have been issued on account of waste burning, out of which Rs 9,96,100 has been collected. However, there are 336 challans which have not been paid by the defaulters till date,” the application said.

For tackling dust pollution, the corporation said a total of 1403 challans have been issued out of which Rs 63,15,000 has been collected and there are 1082 challans which have not been paid by the defaulters till date.

( Source – PTI )

Court’s contempt notice to Delhi education department

The Delhi High Court Monday issued contempt notice to Delhi’s directorate of education (DoE) for not following its order to grant admission to 81 children in neighbourhood government schools.

Justice V.K. Shali also issued notice to the commissioner, East Delhi Municipal Corporation, on a contempt petition filed by NGO Social Jurist that noted that despite the division bench’s Sep 17 order, 81 children were not admitted to schools.

The court has now posted the matter for Jan 28, 2015, and asked the DoE and EDMC to file their response on the issue.

On Sep 17, 81 children in the age group of 6-14 years moved the high court alleging that they have been denied admission in schools on the ground that they do not have residential proof.

Children from Yamuna Khadar area in east Delhi said they were denied admission in schools of the EDMC on the grounds of non-availability of their residence proof and birth certificates.

The division bench then asked the students to approach the schools for admission and the schools to take proper action in this regard.

During the hearing Monday, advocate Ashok Agarwal appearing for the NGO argued despite the order of division bench, the children were not admitted to the schools.

“This case highlights that the government of Delhi which makes so much propaganda about implementation of RTE (Right to Education) Act is really very insensitive towards the right to education of the children of the poor,” he argued.