Deal with solid-waste management seriously, SC tells panel

New Delhi,   The Supreme Court on Thursday said it expected an expert committee would be set up to handle the issue of solid-waste management in Delhi to take up the matter seriously and with dedication.

Asking the committee to understand the problem’s magnitude, the court said that the panel should submit a report preferably within three months.

“We expect the committee to take up the matter seriously and in a dedicated manner so that it can serve as a model not only for cleanliness in a metropolitan city like Delhi but also for other metropolitan cities,” a bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta said.

“We expect the committee will work in harmony with the sole objective of fulfilling its terms of reference,” the bench added.

As per the terms of reference, the panel will go in depth into all aspects of solid- waste management in Delhi, including cleaning up of landfill sites at Ghazipur, Bhalswa and Okhla and frame a workable and implementable policy.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand appeared for Delhi’s Lt Governor’s office.

The committee headed by Delhi’s Urban Development Department Principal Secretary with hold its first meeting on September 4.

Terming solid-waste management problem in Delhi “serious”, the apex court had asked Lt Governor Anil Baijal on August 17 to consider the setting up of the committee, also comprising experts on solid-waste management.

On July 12, the court had expressed displeasure over the failure of the Lt Governor — whom it termed “Superman” — to take effective steps to tackle the garbage problem, after his office admitted that waste management comes within its jurisdiction.

The bench had said that the situation in Delhi was “absolutely bizarre”, and referred to three landfills as “mountains of garbage”.

It had said that there was a 65-metre high garbage mound at Ghazipur which was “only eight metres less than the historic Qutub Minar”.

The top court is hearing a matter related to the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules.