(Eds: Correcting 7th para and adding para 8) New Delhi, Apr 17 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal today rapped the East Delhi Municipal Corporation over its report on a recent fire incident at the Ghazipur landfill site, saying it cannot allow non-compliance of its orders to solve the issue.
Irked at the approach of the corporation, a bench headed by acting Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim summoned the Police Commissioner and the Commissioner of the EDMC to appear before it on April 23 and submit a detailed report.
The green panel said except for stating that tenders have been floated, no statement was “forthcoming” from the EDMC about the actual and effective steps being taken to avert the instances of fire in terms of its earlier directions.
Noting that the EDMC lawyer’s submission that he did not have instructions from the municipal body and said,”as the situation is serious, we expected serious approach by the corporation which was lacking.” “We cannot allow such non-compliance by indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned and avoid perishing of the life of the people, factual information about the steps taken or being taken is essential.
“Hence, we direct the Commissioner, EDMC and the Commissioner of Police, NCT Delhi to be present before the Tribunal giving us the factual action taken report on the action taken in pursuance to our order dated March 22, 2018 apart from the detailed report,” the bench said.
The NGT’s direction came after advocate Sanjay Upadhyay, who has been appointed as amicus curiae in the matter, informed the bench that the police and the corporation have not filed the report despite its March 22 direction.
The lawyer had earlier told the NGT that after a major fire on September 1 last year, another fire had broken on March 18 at the landfill site and as per the tribunal’s order in case of such incidents, appropriate action be taken against the authorities concerned.
On September 1 last year, a portion of the 45 m-high garbage dump in east Delhi’s Ghazipur had collapsed due to heavy rains, killing two people and pushing a car and three two wheelers off the road and into a canal. Another blaze had erupted on October 19 and 20, 2017 and was extinguished after hours of fire-fighting operations.
Advocate Balendu Shekhar, the counsel for the EDMC submitted that the corporation was trying its best to curb the methane generation in the landfill site which is the main cause for the fire incidents.
He said the corporation has time and again informed the tribunal about the situation at the Ghazipur landfill site which is already saturated, and a plea seeking more land has been moved which is pending.
However, the NGT was unimpressed and observed that the authorities were lacking seriousness in managing the problem.
The tribunal had earlier directed the Delhi government, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and EDMC to file a compliance report pertaining to recurring incidents of fire at the Ghazipur landfill site.
Recently, the EDMC had moved a plea seeking direction to the DDA to hand over a 130-acre piece of land at Sonia Vihar and a 50-acre plot at Ghonda Gujran for solid waste management facilities on a priority basis.
The NGT had earlier directed the Delhi government and the civic bodies to submit an action plan for identifying alternative landfill sites and setting up waste-to-energy plants in the city.
It had said it was unfortunate that at a time when the national capital was grappling with huge quantum of waste to the tune of 14,000 metric tonnes daily, the authorities were involved in a “blame game” and showing an irresponsible attitude.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.