New Delhi: In accordance with Solid Waste Management Rules 2016, all authorities are under “statutory” obligation to ensure that waste is “collected, transported and disposed” so that it does not cause public health hazards. However, in the National Capital, which produces over 9,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste per day, the authorities failed to deliver, resulting in a drain clogged with garbage and municipal solid waste in the residential area of Seelampur, Delhi. The National Green Tribunal took note of it on July 6, and issued a show cause notice to Delhi Government, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and Public Works Department, asking them why appropriate action should not be taken against them for violating its orders. Now, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government to immediately clean the trunk drain clogged with garbage and solid waste, while the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control has been asked to ensure that it should be free from garbage and silt.
“We direct that the trunk drain number one shall be cleaned by the NCT Delhi, the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control within one week and ensure that there shall be no remnant of municipal solid waste and other waste and silt should be seen in the drain after the lapse of one week,” the order issued by a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar stated.
A trunk drain, also known as a storm water pipe, is a large-capacity drainage channel which carries runoff from local street drainage systems to receiving waters. It consists of a network of large sized pipes, overland flow paths and natural and constructed channels.
Notably, the green panel also asked the chief secretary of the Delhi government to hold a meeting and resolve the issue whether 168 drains which join trunk drain number one at Seelampur were maintained by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) or not.
However, advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for the EDMC, had said that although the area falls under the jurisdiction of the corporation, the responsibility of cleaning the drains is with the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control of the Delhi government.
The order had come after the NGT took cognisance on its own of a media report and a picture showing a drain clogged with municipal solid waste near a residential area in Seelampur.
The tribunal had earlier said that municipal solid waste is one of the most serious pollutants in the country, especially in Delhi, and anyone found throwing waste at public places or drain shall be liable to pay environmental compensation at the rate of Rs 10,000 per default. The NGT directed all major sources of municipal solid waste generation – hotels, restaurants, slaughter houses, vegetable markets etc. to provide segregated waste and handover the same to the Corporation in accordance with the rules. These directions earlier came in December 2016, while NGT was hearing a plea relating to mismanagement of municipal solid waste in Delhi and the terrible conditions that are prevailing near landfill sites.
With Inputs from PTI