The Indian capital, Delhi has a waste problem and the Indian Supreme Court isn’t happy about it. Far from it. On Monday, SC said that the city is facing ‘emergency situation’ regarding the increasing piles of waste.
The SC fumed over the government as well as householders for the poor waste management. The court pressed the government to find a solution to the problem rather than shifting the garbage from one place to another. It also highlighted the inability of Delhites to responsibly segregate their household waste.
The Green Bench of Justices which constituted of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, questioned the ‘educated’ citizens of Delhi, why they are unable to segregate the biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste at their home before handing it out to waste collectors?
The Justices targeted the educated population and not the slum dwellers because the ‘educated people’ are well aware of the environmental impact of waste mismanagement but choose to turn a blind eye to the problem.
“Primary responsibility is on the householder to segregate waste. Why cannot solid-waste management start at home?” asked Justice Gupta. “Everybody knows how to take benefits, but don’t know anything when it comes to paying back to the community. We are not blaming slum dwellers but people who know about all this.”
Furthur, the bench pointed out that even if the waste is segregated, the employees of municipal corporation dump the whole waste into the same vehicle.
As to Additional Solicitor General’s submission on residents of Sonia Vihar objecting to a landfill site, the court supported the people.
“Lives of people are going to be affected if you will put garbage in front of their house. They have a right to say that do not put garbage in front of my house. It is a criminal offence. You will have to find a solution. You cannot just shift the garbage like this,” the bench said.
“Ganga Ram Hospital has done a study which says that 50 percent of the population of Delhi has a chance of having lung cancer even if they do not smoke. The Niti Aayog says that in 2019, there will be a shortage of water in Delhi. Will there be any person alive in Delhi in such a situation?” the bench added.
The bench demanded detailed report on household waste management by householders as well as authorities. It also pressed for running a campaign in the city educating citizens about the importance of efficient waste management.
The suggestion to put penalty was also suggested by the court to curb the menace.