Won’t pick debris from PWD roads, says SDMC
In what could lead to a fresh round of friction between the BJP-governed civic bodies and the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Friday said it will no longer clear construction and demolition waste dumped on PWD roads.
The public works department (PWD) comes under the Delhi government. All roads wider than 60 feet in Delhi are managed by PWD while the civic bodies maintain smaller roads.
Shikha Rai, chairperson of the SDMC’s standing committee, said the civic body would write to lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, asking him to direct the Delhi government to make its own arrangement to pick debris from PWD roads.
Rai said, “It is true that under Section 42 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act, we are responsible for sweeping and picking up garbage from the city’s roads but that can’t include tonnes of malba on PWD roads and from near its construction projects.”
Civic body officials said that they often have to hire earth moving machines because the construction waste left by PWD weigh hundreds of tonnes. Kamaljeet Sehrawat, leader of the House, said lifting hundreds of tonnes of waste was not financially viable for it, “specially when the Delhi government has cut more than ₹800 crore from the annual funds to the SDMC”.
Government officials, however, said that the civic body was duty bound under the DMC Act to lift debris and sweep the roads. In August 2018, home minister Satyendar Jain had approved a circular that “removing unclaimed malba (debris) from roads is an obligatory function of the municipalities”.
A PWD engineer, requesting anonymity, said, “Our contractors dump the debris at designated C&D waste points. It is mostly common residents, especially from unauthorised areas, who dump malba on PWD roads at night.”
SDMC said more money needed to clear debris. Mayor Narendra Chawla said clearing debris from places such as Janakpuri, Tagore Garden, Rajouri Garden, Vikaspuri costs the civic body Rs 10 lakh per month. As per official accounts, 2,500 tonnes of construction debris is produced daily in areas under south MCD.