The HC sought answers as to why directions given for keeping river Yamuna clean were not followed in spirit
Delhi government was, on Thursday, asked by the High Court to explain as to why should a contempt-of-court proceeding not be initiated against it for failing to comply with its five-year-old order to ensure that garbage does not choke Yamuna and turn it into a drain, especially during festivals.
Cleanliness overdue: The Yamuna has been bearing the city's waste
since time immemorial. Especially during festivals, the river gets
choked with filth and garbage deposited by people in the name of
religion. File Pic
Justice Vipin Sanghi also issued notices to Delhi government's Ministry of Environment, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA), seeking their replies by February 7 on a contempt plea. The Bench issued notices on the contempt plea by environmentalist Vinod Jain, who pointed out to the court that it had directed the government in 2006 to effectively enforce the Delhi Degradable Plastic Bag and Garbage (Control) Amendment Act to ensure Yamuna's cleanliness during festivals.
Forgetful or callous?
He said, in April 2006, the court had asked the government and its various civic agencies to implement all the provisions of the Act and to make some enclosures on the river bank for immersion of idols during the festival seasons. No work, however, has been done so far.
"In September 2006, the court had directed the government to take adequate steps to prohibit throwing of garbage and samagri (worship material) into the river, drains and sewers, as per the Act," Jain said in his petition. He said it was also directed by the court to make the general public aware of this ban through huge amount of publicity.
Lack of implementation
Delhi pollution control committee had also suggested making specific enclosures for the purpose of immersion of idols, following which the civic agency had assured the court for the development of such enclosures within three months, Jain said. "Except identifying 13 sites, the project has not progressed so far despite the fact that the DDA has released funds for setting-up of such enclosures," he added.