Set up committee on solid-waste management, SC tells Delhi L-G

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New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Terming the solid waste problem in Delhi “serious”, the Supreme Court on Friday asked Lt Governor Anil Baijal to consider the setting up of a committee also comprising experts on solid-waste management.

“The fact of the matter is that it’s a very serious problem. It’s not only affecting Delhi, but also other cities. Let the L-G constitute an expert committee,” a bench of Madan B. Lokur, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta said.

It said that the Lt Governor should not “rush into the decision of constituting the committee” but take a thoughtful decision.

“Let’s leave it to him (Lt Governor) — he is the chief administrator. He said he was responsible,” said the bench.

The committee should also consist of members of civil society and Resident Welfare Associations and should deal with cleaning up of huge mounds of garbage at the landfill sites at Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa as well, the court said.

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“In our opinion, prima facie, the problem of solid-waste management needs the assistance of people. The L-G said that the solid-waste management is his responsibility… constitute a committee that will go in depth into all aspects of solid-waste management, including cleaning of dumping sites,” the court ordered.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Lt Governor, told the bench that she would discuss the matter with him and revert back on the issue.

The apex court fixed August 27 for the next hearing.

On July 12, the court had expressed displeasure over the failure of Lt Governor — whom it termed “Superman” — to take effective steps to tackle the garbage problem, after his office admitted that waste management comes within its jurisdiction.

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The bench had said that the situation in Delhi was “absolutely bizarre”, and referred to three landfills as “mountains of garbage”.

It had said that there was a 65-metre high mound at Ghazipur which was “only eight metres less than the historic Qutub Minar”.

On July 16, the Lt Governor had told the court that he was regularly monitoring the situation and immediately after assuming office in 2016, he had visited three landfills.

Efforts were on to tackle the problem at the three sites in a comprehensive, safe and scientific manner, the Lt Governor had said.

The top court is hearing a matter related to the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules.

It had earlier directed the Central government to submit a chart, indicating whether states and union territories have constituted state-level advisory boards in accordance with the provisions of said Rules of 2016.

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–IANS

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