Chief judicial magistrate Sunil Chauhan, also the secretary of Panchkula District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), has in a recent report said that so poor is sanitation in Barwala and Raipur Rani villages that they have now turned into “dustbins”.
The report, in which Chauhan has demanded the district administration to take stock of the situation in the villages, would soon be sent to deputy commissioner SS Phulia and Haryana State Legal Services Authority.
On October 23, during a visit to legal aid clinics at Barwala and Raipur Rani, Chauhan had taken note of the stench and stink caused by open drains in the villages, following which he prepared the report, which reads: “Stagnant dirty water was seen in some of the drains. Filthy water from drains was coming out. It seems that the said villages have turned into dustbins with garbage strewn all over. The position, as seen during the said visit, reflects that the (authorities) concerned are missing in performing their statutory duties of collecting and disposing garbage and waste and also of maintaining the drainage system. Sanitation problem also reflects the same.”
Maintenance of health, preservation of sanitation and environment falls within the purview of Article 21 of the Constitution as it adversely affects the life of citizens. “The Supreme Court has held that the right to life is not confined to mere animal existence, but extends to the right to live with basic human dignity,” Chauhan writes in the report. “The right to live in peace, to sleep in peace and the right to repose and health are part of the right to live,” said the judge's report.
He recommended repair of the damaged and improper drains. “Damaged drains lead to formation of stagnant pools and result in breeding sites for disease vectors, such as mosquitoes, increasing the risk of malaria. The drains must also be maintained and cleaned; it is common to find that new drains become dumps for solid waste or even sewage because of inadequate maintenance.”
He added that there was a need to put in place a mechanism to prevent accumulation of garbage in the said villages. “Adequate dustbins must be kept at proper places, particularly at street corners. People must be educated and sensitised on the importance of depositing garbage in the dustbins. If residents refuse to comply, the panchayat may install sign boards warning them of being fined if they continue to dump waste in open places,” says his report.