"You Say 'I Am Superman', But You Don't Do Anything," SC Trashes L-G Over Delhi’s Garbage
The Hon’ble SC on Thursday, July 12, again took up the issue of non-implementation of solid waste management rules in Delhi. The SC’s remarks come in the wake of a turf war between L-G and the elected government in Delhi. Earlier this month, SC had said that the L-G can’t be obstructionist.
In March, the apex court had raised objections over the lack of commitment shown by the state government across the country regarding the implementation of the solid waste disposal policies. Notably, the Solid Waste Management Rules came into force in April 2016.
Power without accountability
“There are mountains of garbage in Delhi, particularly in Bhalswa, Okhla and Ghazipur. We would like to know who is responsible for clearing the garbage — those answerable to the L-G or those answerable to the Chief Minister?” a Bench of Justices M.B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta said on Tuesday, as reported by The Hindu.
The court had earlier observed that the Ghazipur landfill in Delhi was close to matching the height of 73-metre high Qutub Minar and will need red beacons to warn aircraft in the area.
The court demanded accountability when an affidavit submitted by the L-G’s representative on Wednesday, asserted that the civic bodies in Delhi were answerable to him. However, additional solicitor general Pinky Anand, who is representing the centre (L-G), refused to commit on a possible timeline to clean the garbage. Amicus curiae Gonsalves said that there has not been any representation from the L-G’s office in any meeting regarding the cleanup at three main landfill sites of Delhi.
What did the Judges Say?
“You (the Lieutenant Governor) say ‘I have power, I am a Superman’. But you don’t do anything.”
“You say the corporations are answerable to you. Tell us within how much time will you clear the sites.”
“Why should the corporations be asked? You are the L-G. You should have found out by now.”
Mumbai is sinking, garbage is burying Delhi
Earlier, the apex court had observed that because of increasing mounds of garbage in India’s capital city, the citizens are getting infected by Dengue, Chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases. Holding the states responsible for not filing affidavits on solid waste management strategy policy documents, SC had fined 10 states and two UTs. This came after the court was “shocked” to find out that since 2016, only 1/3rd of the states and UTs have complied with the bare minimum requirements.
“You see, Delhi is getting buried under mountain loads of garbage and Mumbai is sinking. But yet, the government does not do anything. When the courts intervene, we are attacked for judicial activism. We are given lectures on separation of powers and encroachment of jurisdiction,” it said, as reported by Outlook.