New Delhi, Jun 2 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today asked a municipal corporation here to provide details of its officials posted in the northeast Delhi’s Mustafabad area, which was in news over release of poisonous substances into groundwater from polluting industrial units.
The court had taken suo motu cognisance of a news report highlighting release of carcinogenic bye-products into groundwater by polluting industrial units in Mustafabad.
Terming a report titled ‘Is blue the colour of death in Delhi’s ‘cancer colony’?’ an eye opener, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar sought to know from the authorities what steps are being taken to stop contamination of groundwater.
Deeply concerned with development of polluting industries in the city especially, in residential areas, the bench observed that this cannot be without the active connivance of the building and licensing departments of the concerned municipal authorities as well as the local police.
It said that the MCD officials during whose tenure these illegal activities have commenced and have continued, are clearly liable for criminal offences and have to bear the responsibility and consequences for the same.
The high court directed the MCD to provide the names and full particulars of the Assistant Engineer, Executive Engineer and the Superintending Engineer to CBI, who were posted in the area when illegal activity commenced and who remained there till the closure of such activity.
The court had on May 25 ordered CBI enquiry into the development of unauthorised industrial activities in the Mustafabad locality.
While asking the Delhi government to complete in one week the survey of the entire Mustafabad area with regard to the commercial users of residential properties, the bench asked the corporation to also give details as to whether any licences have been issued by the licensing authority.
“The details of the officers who had granted/renewed the licences for running of these kind of industrial activities in the residential houses shall also be provided,” it said.
The court further directed that all residents/industrial units in the area shall fully co-operate with the CBI in the conduct of its investigation and make available all documents as are sought by CBI.
The court said that upon completion of the investigation, CBI shall proceed in accordance with law against all persons or authorities found responsible for the commencement, continuance of the illegal activities.
The matter has now been listed for August 10.
The report published in a national daily had stated that the untreated effluents are contaminating ground water, which is the main source of drinking water in the area, and it was inked to the high rate of cancer there.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.