New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday warned of summoning the Delhi Finance secretary if the AAP (Aam Admi Party) government fails to give authorisation to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) for spending money to construct a drain here before October 8. A bench of Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore and expert member S S Garbyal said in case the authorisation for spending the remaining amount is not given in writing to the EDMC, the Finance secretary of the Delhi government shall remain present before it.
The green panel took exception that despite its specific order to give authorisation to the EDMC, the matter was being delayed by shuttling it from one department to other. “No doubt the manner in which this case is being taken up, on behalf of Government of NCT (National Capital Territory) Delhi, is quite interesting. We are witnessing a true picture as to how one department shifts the responsibility to the other, even when all of them are within the Government of NCT Delhi. As already said, we had intimated the chief secretary, Government of NCT Delhi vide our last order but even then there is no progress in this matter where only authorisation for unspent amount is to be granted to the EDMC. Therefore, the Tribunal has no option but to call the secretary Finance, Govt. of NCT Delhi to present in person before it, in case the appropriate authorisation is not given to the EDMC before the next date,” the bench said.
It directed that a copy of this order be sent to the lieutenant governor and the Delhi chief secretary through e-mail immediately. The matter is listed for next hearing on October 8. The order came on the plea filed by environment activist Vikrant Tongad seeking immediate removal of municipal waste and plastic bags from the canal in Dallupura in East Delhi.
“The instant application highlights the sad plight of the drains/nallas on water drains which are completely choked with municipal waste and plastics which have been indiscriminately dumped in the drains clogging them and virtually turning them into mass dump yards. This not only violates the environmental laws, including the Environment Protection Act, 1986 and the rules made there under the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, Plastic Waste Management Rules, but is great hazard to public health causing innumerable diseases among other hazards,” the plea, filed through advocate Upma Bhattacharjee, said.
Referring to media reports, the plea had said the respondents have failed to discharge their constitutional and statutory obligation in relation to proper collection, handling, transportation and disposal of municipal solid waste. “Indiscriminate dumping of solid waste in the natural water body not only pollutes the water body but also severely damages the ecology in the area. There are catenas of judgments which conclude that such pollution causes injury to public health and is also violative of the environmental laws,” it had said. The plea had also sought directions to form a committee to inspect all polluted water bodies in the city and submit a report, including a time-bound action plan.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.