The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the chief executive officers of the Delhi Jal Board and the commissioner of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation to complete the cleaning of drains and ensure contamination-free drinking water to residents of South Extension within a month or face contempt-of-court action.
The SDMC chief has been asked to act quickly on overflowing drains, heaps of garbage on the side of bylanes and the dirty Kushak Nullah that flows through the area. The DJB has been asked to take urgent remedial steps to deal with rampant water contamination leading to the outbreak of diseases in summer and monsoon.
“Ensure that necessary steps are taken by July 1 or else the chiefs of both these bodies will be asked to be personally present in the court and contempt of court proceedings will be initiated against them,” a bench headed by Justice SK Kaul said.
“You are playing with the lives of thousands of citizens!” the court had repeatedly told DJB officials during earlier hearings. The bench has been monitoring the issue since mid-2011 after it took suo motu cognizance of a letter written by the South Extension-I RWA on the inaction of the authorities despite repeated complaints.
“Despite repeated directions of the court, the SDMC is not taking any action. We continue to live in terrible conditions and some urgent direction from the court is called for,” RWA’s joint secretary Manjeet Singh Chugh told the court.
“On the drinking water front, the situation is really bad with the residents continuing to get contaminated water. The sewer pipelines were laid way back in 1950 and have now corroded and as a result sewage is seeping into water pipes,” Chugh said.