Travel beyond politics to end 'horrendous' problem of untreated waste in Delhi, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on May 13 said that a solution to the “horrendous” problem of 3,800 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste in the national capital every day can only be found beyond the boundaries of party politics.

“This is an important issue for the capital. What signal is being sent to the people living in the city? And we talk about development! You (governments) should move beyond politics,” Justice ASOka told the two-judge bench. Advised while presiding over the bench.

The bench expressed its displeasure with the manner in which the matter was handled by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

The MCD told the court that it will have waste treatment plants capable of handling 3,800 metric tonnes of solid waste by June 2027 alone.

“This means that some parts of Delhi will accumulate 3,800 metric tonnes of solid waste in the next three years… It is a sad state of affairs in the capital and a huge threat to the environment. Any authorities who have created every day It did not consider the consequences of lack of capacity to deal with solid waste.” The Bench observed.

The court pulled up the MCD and other authorities for not realizing that, given the developmental activities in Delhi and surrounding areas, “it is obvious that the generation of solid waste must increase”. The bench said that the authorities are not ready to face the issue.

The court directed the civic authorities to take immediate steps to ensure that the amount of untreated solid waste does not increase unless adequate facilities are in place in Delhi.

The court indicated that it intends to involve the Center in finding a solution to the health problem in the capital for years. Accumulation of untreated solid waste is a health hazard and a violation of the fundamental right to a dignified life and clean environment under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The court directed the civil affairs secretary to hold a meeting with all stakeholders and submit a report by July 19. “Government of India should consider this. We are issuing this order,” Justice Oka said.

He warned that strict action would be taken if his orders were not obeyed. The court scheduled hearing of the case on July 26.

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