Developers who do not clean up after construction and leave debris at the site should be prosecuted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Bombay high court suggested on Thursday.
The court also said that the corporation should also educate people about maintaining a clean and hygienic environment.
“Every day, citizens are facing problems. Why are you [BMC] not keeping the city clean?” justice PB Majmudar asked. “Why is there filthy smell, especially near Worli? You travel to the airport, see there is so much filthy smell.”
The court also rapped the BMC for not providing clean drinking water to citizens. “You have to live within the system and keep it [the city] clean,” justice Majmudar said.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by activists, Siddharth Khandagale and Rajnish Kamble, through their advocate, Rakesh Agrawal. The PIL claims that two pregnant women from a Worli slum died of jaundice, which they contracted after drinking contaminated water.
The petition had claimed that the building in which the slum dwellers were rehabilitated under a redevelopment project, was supplied unclean water, while the building with flats meant for sale got clean water.
The corporation tried to pass the buck and told the court that the slum dwellers had illegally diverted the water connection although the corporation had disconnected it. “The corporation is concerned, but the citizens are not concerned about their health,” said Neelam Punjabi the advocate for BMC.
Deputy hydraulic engineer (civil) Satyanaran Maheshwari had filed an affidavit stating that water supplied from the municipal water main on E Moses Road was clean and potable but got contaminated due to unhygienic surroundings. Maheswari’s affidavit stated that when the BMC received a complaint of water contamination in the area in March 2010, it had inspected the site and found that water was illegally diverted to the suction tank on the project construction site.
The high court had, earlier this month, pulled up the BMC for not supplying citizens with clean drinking water. The additional municipal commissioner had called for a meeting and directed officers to issue a circular to take remedial measures to ensure that safe drinking water is supplied to citizens, Maheshwari’s affidavit said.