The Supreme Court expressed concern on Friday over mounting piles of trash that were possibly causing a spike in vector-borne diseases in the city, including recent reports of bird flu.
The top court asked the Delhi government to submit a garbage disposal plan and said it will convene a meeting of all stakeholders, including the BJP-controlled civic bodies.
“What are your plans to clean up? You have to plan for the future, you don’t have to react to a situation,” the court asked the city government, as quoted by ANI.
“45 metres of garbage in places is alarming.”
The apex court’s comments come amid a bird flu scare in the Capital following a spate of avian deaths in various parts of the city. The Aam Aadmi Party administration has said it is in control of the situation but panic has spread across the city following dead bird in south Delhi’s Hauz Khas, Sundar Nagar and Tughlaqabad – apart from the zoo, which is described as ground zero of the bird-flu outbreak.
“We are trying our level best to control the situation and won’t let it go (to) bad… We are taking all precautionary measures. For now, citizens don’t need to worry,” Delhi’s development minister Gopal Rai said. The zoo and the park both attract a large number of migratory birds, the primary carriers of the H5N1 virus.
There are no known cases of human deaths in India though several states have tackled outbreaks of avian influenza outbreaks over the years. Rai said the city’s chicken wholesale markets and poultry farms have been asked to inform if they found dead birds and also keep their area clean.
Delhi also battled its biggest outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases, chikungunya and dengue, this year, with several deaths and hospital wards overflowing with thousands of patients.