HC asks MCD to ensure no illegal garbage dumping in city, take action against defaulting industries

The Delhi High Court Friday directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to ensure that there is no illegal dumping of electrical, plastic and medical garbage in the national capital and action should be taken against defaulting industrial units.

The high court also directed the MCD to ensure strict compliance with the statutory provisions under the environmental laws.

The bench also asked the corporation to conclude within four months any action initiated against three categories of defaulters — violating industrial units, units which are functional in non-industrial areas and the factories violating the norms laid down by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula disposed of a public interest litigation, initiated on its own, after taking suo motu cognisance of a letter submitted to the high court in July 2019.

The letter highlighted the deteriorating living conditions in Mundka and other villages due to extreme pollution caused by the dumping of electronic, plastic and medical garbage as well as discharge from other polluting industrial units.

After perusing various status reports filed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the high court said that no further orders or directions are required to be passed by it.

“The MCD shall also ensure that there is no illegal dumping of electrical, plastic and medical garbage in Delhi, contrary to the statutory provisions. The MCD shall take appropriate action against all the defaulting units under Section 416 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act and the other authorities shall also take appropriate action in accordance with law against all violating units in Delhi,” the bench said in its judgment.

In his letter, the complainant had said that the prevailing problem of pollution in Mundka and its neighbouring villages was due to the dumping of garbage, which included electronic and computer parts, pipes, bathing tub, rubber, polythene and medical garbage.

He had also contended that the issue of growing plastic was a concern in almost all villages of the national capital — Mundka, Nangloi, Ranhola, Bakkarwala, Neelwal, Tikri, Ghevra, Nijampur, Ranikheda, Madanpur Dabas, Puthkalan near Sultanpuri, Kamruddin Nagar, Naresh Park and Nangloi.

In its status report regarding the disposal of plastic garbage, the MCD has submitted that it is being sold by the industry operators to “kabariwala” or waste dealers.

It added that the industrial waste disposal system was taken care of by Effluent Treatment Plants (ETP) permitted by the DPCC. These treatment plants ensure that chemical waste, fumes and polluted water are not released into the atmosphere and are safely disposed of.

The MCD said that in the industrial areas where the industrial units are running without a valid licence, no illegal burning of plastic waste was found and no plastic or PVC wholesale market was situated in the areas under the jurisdiction of the erstwhile North DMC, where usually mass burning of plastic or PVC waste was carried out.

The status report also said that the MCD is keeping a check on the industrial units operating in non-conforming areas — non-industrial and residential areas — for the closure of illegal factories of all trades.

It added that the polluting units found in the industrial areas have been sealed by the DPCC and Environmental Damage Charges (EDC) have been imposed on the defaulters.

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“The corporation presently is taking up the closure of colouring/ dyeing units in the area of Meethapur, Badarpur for which a survey by a drone was carried out recently and the closure of such polluting units will take place at an early date,” the report said.

It added that the MCD (then erstwhile North Delhi Municipal Corporation) had initiated action by issuing challans and closure notices against all the units operating in non-conforming areas.

After the issuance of closure orders, many of these units have already closed and vacated the premises, the report said, adding that further action against the work to seal the remaining units in non-conforming areas is in progress and would be done at the earliest.

“There are 364 licenced units in Mundka Industrial area, 128 licensed units in Kanjhawala area and 203 licensed units in Nangloi. The units are operating after having submitted necessary clearance from DPCC for issuance of valid Municipal Factory licence,” the report said.

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