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.

High Court orders action against illegal water cooling plants in Delhi

The Delhi High Court today directed the local municipal bodies to take action against water cooling plants which are illegally operating in the national capital in violation of the master plan.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the three MCDs and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) seeking their response to a plea by an NGO which has alleged that the water cooling plants are operating from notified commercial streets in “flagrant violation” of Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021.

NGO Society for Holistic Approach and Development, in its plea filed through advocates Kamlesh Kumar Mishra and Sanjay Baniwal, has claimed that orders for punitive action against such units by the Municipal Health Officer (MHO) of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and other senior officials have been “disregarded” by its own officials.

The plea has said that “despite the orders having been passed and the water cooling plants in the notified commercial streets being illegal and unauthorised, no action has yet been taken.”

Taking note of the submissions, the court directed the EDMC to take action as ordered by its MHO and listed the matter for further hearing on September 19.

The other two corporations were directed to physically inspect such units in their areas and all of them were asked to file their respective status reports on the action taken.

NGT: Will examine if alternate landfill sites fall on Yamuna floodplains

The National Green Tribunal today said it would examine. whether the proposed alternate landfill sites at Sonia Vihar and Ghonda Gujran areas here are located on the Yamuna floodplains.

A bench headed by acting NGT Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim, which did not issue notice on the pleas filed by rebel AAP MLA Kapil Mishra and others, directed them to file a brief note within a week mentioning the grounds on which they were opposing the setting up of the two landfill sites.

“We will examine and consider if the two sites fall on the Yamuna floodplains. We will be considering all the issues,” the bench, also comprising Justice S P Wangdi, observed.

Besides Mishra, AAP spokesperson Dilip Kumar Pandey and others have also sought directions to restrain the DDA from allotting an area of 130 acres at Sonia Vihar and a 50-acre plot at Ghonda Gujran to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) for handling and processing waste. The sites were proposed as the existing site at Ghazipur was saturated.

The order came after the green panel was informed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) that a similar matter was pending in the Supreme Court.

Advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for EDMC, said Ghazipur landfill site has got saturated and there was an urgent need for an alternate landfill site to avoid any untoward incident.

The lawyer told the bench that land was identified after NGT’s indulgence when a chamber meeting was held where senior DDA officials had assured the tribunal about the availability of these sites.

He said the DDA had granted in principle approval for these sites based on the recommendations of Central Pollution Control Board and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

Advocate Ritwick Dutta, appearing for Mishra, alleged that the EDMC had concealed information that these sites were part of the active floodplain of Yamuna river and fell under the O-Zone as per Master Plan of Delhi, where no development can take place.

He said the two sites were rejected twice by the Principal Committee, formed to see execution of Yamuna cleaning, which had decided that these sites were unsuitable.

The NGT, however, questioned the petitioners and said the issue of landfill sites in the national capital was going on since long and why have they approached it at this juncture.

The matter was listed for next hearing on May 21.

While Mishra had alleged that EDMC has with a “malafide”intention not revealed that these sites are part of the active floodplain of Yamuna river and fell under the O-Zone as per Master Plan of Delhi where no development can take place, the petition filed by Pandey and others had said the project will adversely affect the eco-system of the area as there were several densely populated colonies and villages nearby.

“The entire area being low lying goes under deep waters during monsoon rains and the ground water table being very high, it suffers from aquifer flooding during high floods in river Yamuna. The ground conditions make its development as land fill site not only illegal but also susceptible to flooding risks.

“That with respect to the site in Ghonda Gujran, it can easily be surmised that it is in Zone O, as the site is said to be opposite the Usmanpur Village. And since the only open space opposite the Usmanpur Village is in the active river floodplain in Zone O, clearly the site is most unsuitable and impermissible as per the Siting Criteria under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 which is statutory in nature,” Mishra had said in his plea.

The plea, filed by Pandey and others, had said the “mindless setting up of a land-fill site adjacent to Yamuna, a natural water resource will be affecting the integrity of the flora and fauna of the water resource, which would affect overall ecology of the area which resulted the bad health condition of the people who are living nearby allotted land”.

It had said the approval given on the basis of recommendations of the Central Pollution Control Board and NEERI is based on wrong facts and it violated the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016.

“Restrain the DDA from allotting the lands in question falling within the active floodplain of River Yamuna, i.e. 130 acres in Sonya Vihar and 50 acres in Ghonda Gujran for the purpose of developing Solid Waste Management facility.

“Impose heavy penalty and direct penal action against officials of EDMC for wilful and deliberate concealment of material facts before this tribunal,” the plea had said.

The DDA had earlier told the tribunal that based on the reports of the CPCB and NEERI and its analysis, an area of 88 acres at Sonia Vihar and a 42.5-acre plot at Ghonda Gujran can be given to the EDMC for handling and processing waste.

NGT summons commissioners of police, EDMC: Ghazipur landfill site

The National Green Tribunal today rapped the East Delhi Municipal Corporation over its report on a recent fire incident at the Ghazipur landfill site, saying it cannot allow non-compliance of its orders to solve the issue.

Irked at the approach of the corporation, a bench headed by acting Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim summoned the Police Commissioner and the Commissioner of the EDMC to appear before it on April 23 and submit a detailed report.

The green panel said except for stating that tenders have been floated, no statement was “forthcoming” from the EDMC about the actual and effective steps being taken to avert the instances of fire in terms of its earlier directions.

Noting that the EDMC lawyer’s submission that he did not have instructions from the municipal body and said,”as the situation is serious, we expected serious approach by the corporation which was lacking.”

“We cannot allow such non-compliance by indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned and avoid perishing of the life of the people, factual information about the steps taken or being taken is essential.

“Hence, we direct the Commissioner, EDMC and the Commissioner of Police, NCT Delhi to be present before the Tribunal giving us the factual action taken report on the action taken in pursuance to our order dated March 22, 2018 apart from the detailed report,” the bench said.

The NGT’s direction came after advocate Sanjay Upadhyay, who has been appointed as amicus curiae in the matter, informed the bench that the police and the corporation have not filed the report despite its March 22 direction.

The lawyer had earlier told the NGT that after a major fire on September 1 last year, another fire had broken on March 18 at the landfill site and as per the tribunal’s order in case of such incidents, appropriate action be taken against the authorities concerned.

On September 1 last year, a portion of the 45 m-high garbage dump in east Delhi’s Ghazipur had collapsed due to heavy rains, killing two people and pushing a car and three two wheelers off the road and into a canal. Another blaze had erupted on October 19 and 20, 2017 and was extinguished after hours of fire-fighting operations.

Advocate Balendu Shekhar, the counsel for the EDMC submitted that the corporation was trying its best to curb the methane generation in the landfill site which is the main cause for the fire incidents.

He said the corporation has time and again informed the tribunal about the situation at the Ghazipur landfill site which is already saturated, and a plea seeking more land has been moved which is pending.

However, the NGT was unimpressed and observed that the authorities were lacking seriousness in managing the problem.

The tribunal had earlier directed the Delhi government, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and EDMC to file a compliance report pertaining to recurring incidents of fire at the Ghazipur landfill site.

Recently, the EDMC had moved a plea seeking direction to the 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.

The NGT 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 huge quantum of waste to the tune of 14,000 metric tonnes daily, the authorities were involved in a “blame game” and showing an irresponsible attitude.

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 )

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 )

Restaurant causing pollution: NGT notice to EDMC

air-pollution-storyThe National Green Tribunal has issued notice to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) on a plea seeking closure of a restaurant in East Delhi for allegedly causing air and water pollution.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar sought response from EDMC and asked its concerned officer to be present before it on November 10 on the plea of a local resident claiming commercial use of the property in a residential area.

“The counsel appearing for Delhi Development Authority submits that there is apparent commercial use of the property in a residential area. However, he states that East Delhi Municipal Corporation is an appropriate authority to take action as the property in question has already been handed over to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation. Let notice be issued to East Delhi Municipal Corporation,” the bench said.

The tribunal directed the officer concerned of East Delhi Municipal Corporation along with that of Delhi Development Authority to be present before it on November 10, the next date of hearing.

The NGT was hearing a plea filed by Praveen Gupta seeking closure of the restaurant-cum-party hall in Dilshad Garden here.

The plea, filed through advocate Siddhartha Singh, claimed that till date this restaurant has not applied for consent under Air and Water Act from Delhi Pollution Control Committee and was not complying with the prescribed environ mental norms.

It further said that very often there are wedding parties and loud music being played by DJs which creates noise pollution in the area affecting students and senior citizens who have no option but to face this pollution.

“Besides loudspeakers and music systems, generator is also installed which not only causes noise pollution but also deteriorates air quality of the area.

“A number of complaints were also lodged with authorities regarding air-pollution but authorities have not taken any action till date,” it alleged.

NGT bans dumping of waste near school, issues notice to EDMC

NGT bans dumping of waste near school, issues notice to EDMC
NGT bans dumping of waste near school, issues notice to EDMC

A plea alleging that reckless dumping of garbage and municipal solid waste near a school in East Delhi was causing health hazard to the children has prompted the National Green Tribunal to restrain authorities from throwing any waste in front of the school.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notice to East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and sought its reply in two weeks on a plea filed by a former scientist.

“In the meanwhile we restrain the EDMC or any other person from throwing municipal solid waste or any other kind of waste in front of the school in question and the Corporation should also take all steps to remove the waste that has been dumped in front of the school gate,” the bench also comprising justices M S Nambiar and Raghuvendra S Rathore said.

The tribunal also took exception to unplanned dumping of municipal solid waste and said that school children were suffering due to the mismanagement of the Corporation.

The matter is now listed for next hearing on September 23.

The green panel was hearing a plea filed by retired scientist C V Singh seeking directions to “collect, segregate, dispose and transport” the solid waste of the dump sites as per the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Singh, in his plea filed through advocate Gaurav Bansal, said that while passing through Indraprastha Extension here, he observed that two ‘dhalaos’ (garbage collection points) are situated at the gate of a government school in West Vinod Nagar and near Mohammad Chowk, Vinod Nagar respectively.

“A vegetable market also assembles near the said school on a daily basis and the residue vegetables cause a lot of intense foul smell around the said area…It is respectfully submitted that natural process of decomposition of an organic matter in an unmanaged form leads to intense foul smell resulting into various critical diseases.

“Due to mismanagement and littering of solid waste dumped at dhalao no 1, the adjacent road gets automatically covered with solid waste resulting into traffic congestion leading to vehicular pollution,” the plea said.

( Source – PTI )

PIL in Delhi HC for payment of arrears of EDMC employees

PIL in Delhi HC for payment of arrears of EDMC employees
PIL in Delhi HC for payment of arrears of EDMC employees

A plea was today filed in the Delhi High Court by Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) seeking directions to the AAP government and EDMC to release arrears of the corporation’s employees.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath tagged the matter with the other pleas seeking payment of salary of the sanitation workers of the three corporations as well on the issue of their strike.

All the matters are listed for hearing on February 15.

The petition filed by D P Chandel, President of INTUC, has sought directions to the Delhi government and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) to release arrears as per the sixth pay commission to employees of the civic body.

The plea, also by Rakesh Vaid, General Secretary of INTUC, has prayed for release of salaries within the first week of each month.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government told the court that the plea has been filed by a trade union having affiliation to a certain political party.

 

( Source – PTI )