Friday, July 13, 2018

Don't talk rubbish on garbage: SC to LG

Najeeb Jung, former LG of Delhi & above Anil Baijal, incumbent LG of Delhi
R. Balaji Jul 13, 2018 
From The Telegraph
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday tore into the "superman" lieutenant-governor of Delhi for enjoying power without accountability when the national capital was sitting on a "mountain of garbage" and chastised the Centre for failing to tackle the crisis despite repeated directions.
"You (LG Anil Baijal) say I have the power, but you do not bother to attend meetings. You think you are a superman? I am responsible but nobody can touch me and I won't do anything except blaming others?" Justice Madan B. Lokur, sitting on a bench with Justice Deepak Gupta, told additional solicitor-general Pinky Anand, appearing for the Centre.
The court had earlier directed the AAP government, the LG and the Centre to file their respective affidavits to explain who actually was accountable for the disposal of garbage in the capital.
The three filed affidavits saying the LG had the authority to pass directions to the municipal authorities in the capital.
The court had earlier taken suo motu cognisance of news reports about large number of deaths in Delhi from chikungunya, dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases in the past few years.
Although the bench sought a time frame by which the massive garbage mounds at the landfill sites in Okhla, Bhalswa and Gazipur would be cleared, Anand was unable to furnish a deadline.
Instead the additional solicitor-general tried to say that the AAP government was also responsible for the mess.
This provoked an angry reaction from the bench, which said: "Do not drag the chief minister here. He has no business is what you have said. Be responsible."
In an oblique reference to the power struggle between the AAP government and the Centre, the court referred to a hypothetical situation where the LG would have problems with a meeting convened by the Delhi health minister.
"Why would he (the LG) accept this? He will say who is the minister and the meeting was called by someone who has no authority," the court observed.
It did not agree with Anand's submission that the municipal corporations should be asked to explain the reason behind the failure to clear the garbage. "Why should the corporations be asked? You are the LG. You should have found out by now.... There have been 25 meetings in the last two years but there has been no outcome. Delhi is still under a mountain of dumps," Justice Gupta observed.
When the additional solicitor-general tried to place some documents relating to garbage-clearance in the capital and the landfill areas, Justice Lokur said: "This is completely vague. Tell us the timeline. Within how much time will you clear the garbage? Do not give us jargons. Tell us in plain simple English as to how much time will be taken."
The court adjourned the hearing to July 16 by which time the LG has to file an affidavit explaining the timeframe by which the three garbage landfills will be cleared.

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