Delhi High Court Raises Concern Over Dairy Farms Near Landfill Sites

In a recent hearing, the Delhi High Court expressed serious concerns about the location of dairy farms near landfill sites, highlighting potential health risks, especially to children consuming milk from cows that might graze on landfill waste. The court tentatively suggested that these dairies should be relocated immediately to mitigate the dangers.

The court is currently deliberating on a petition filed by lawyer Sunayana Sibbal and others, which seeks the relocation of nine dairy colonies in the national capital to more appropriate locations. However, before issuing any mandatory directions, the court has decided to hear from the relevant authorities on how these orders should be executed.

Justice Manmohan, acting chief justice, directed key officials including the Chief Secretary of Delhi, the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the Director of Veterinary Services, and the CEO of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board to participate in the next hearing. They are also tasked with exploring land availability for potentially relocating the dairies. Additionally, the justice suggested that the MCD explore the possibility of accepting donations for this cause, with the expectation that the community might contribute generously to safeguard the cows.

The court emphasized the need for imaginative thinking in addressing these issues, stating, “Forget everything else, you say you will accept donations. I am sure people will donate generously for the cows.” The next hearing is scheduled for a week later.

The petitioner highlighted the state’s inaction over the past 22 years since the court’s orders in 2011, urging for more decisive action. The case has reached 2024 without significant progress, prompting discussions about appointing a retired judge to monitor the case’s progress. The court also raised questions about the safety of other dairy products made from potentially contaminated milk, asking whether these products are being tested before they reach consumers.

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