Overflowing garbage dumps. People urinating in open. No public toilets. These are just some of the issues that plague India’s Capital. And taking serious note of all these shortcomings, the Delhi High Court had, in January, asked the MCD to punish its employees who do not perform their duties. The judges had been of the view that their “larger interest was to maintain hygiene in the city”.
Directing disciplinary action against MCD’s errant employees, the bench headed by Justice SK Kaul had said, “We hardly need to emphasise that quick punishment is the only way to send a signal that persons entrusted with tasks perform their duties.”
This court order on a petition filed by social activist and lawyer Ashok Agarwal had come on January 13, 2011 but a Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report filed in the court last week again slammed the MCD for its poor solid waste management across the city. “The MCD is yet to fully comply with the rules and norms of collection, segregation, transportation and disposal of solid waste, and the efforts being undertaken by the MCD are not fully commensurate with the level and urgency of efforts required,” said the report, which will be taken up for hearing on March 31.
The report prepared by DD Basu, a senior scientist with the CPCB after a survey of 2,523 spots including dumps and trolleys between December 3, 2010 and January 12, 2011 said that more than 70 % of the waste receptacles in Rohini, Shahdara and Najafgarh zones were overflowing and in need of repair. The report noted improvement only in the central, Paharganj, Karol Bagh and City zones.
After inspecting 1,753 garbage spots managed by the MCD, the CPCB said that differently coloured trolleys for biodegradable and degradable waste and the segregation of wet and dry garbage was a futile exercise as everything gets mixed in trucks. It also noted that due to the non-availability of waste-lifting trucks, most dustbins were overflowing and becoming breeding grounds for rodents, mosquitoes and “food joints” for stray dogs.
The survey also found that in most garbage trucks, only half the trash is covered with a jute cloth. As a result, a lot of garbage gets spilled on the roads on the way to the dumping grounds.
The CPCB has urged the court to ask the civic body to submit a time-bound action plan to speed up the improvement in solid waste management.