The Delhi High Court on Friday expressed serious concern over the failure of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the government to find new sites in the capital for dumping garbage. It summoned top officials of the trifurcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), DDA and the government to discuss the "alarming situation".
The issue acquired urgency as the dumping sites at Bhalaswa, Ghazipur and Okhla, the court believed, had reached their saturation points. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has already suggested banning of further dumping at these sites.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the MCD, accusing the DDA of not allotting them new sites despite an order by the Supreme Court way back in 2000.
Justice GS Sistani asked the DDA vice-chairman, the commissioners of the three municipal corporations and the secretary of the urban development ministry to be present in court on May 14 and submit a blueprint in this regard.
The chief secretary of Delhi has been asked to convene a meeting of all these officials before the next court hearing to discuss the issue.
"The situation is alarming. But all that is happening now is passing of buck by the MCD, DDA and the government on the issue of finding new sites. Obviously the initiative has to be taken by DDA which is the land owning agency," Sanjiv Sen, the amicus curiae (lawyer assisting the court) in the case told the court.
Sumeet Pushkarna, counsel for the municipal corporations, told the court that they were being forced to continue to use the present sites despite the risk of loss of human life and property. "DDA needs to consider from a list of new sites that we have suggested," the lawyer said. The MCD's plea to allow use of large pits in the sprawling Bhatti mines area as landfill sites is already pending before the court but environmentalists are opposed to the suggestion.