Solid waste management is a huge problem being faced by the country at this stage
It is quite clear that there is absolutely no shortage of funds, but there is only absence of any initiative or lack of any willingness to take any positive steps for solid waste management, the Bench observed.
The Supreme Court, in Re: Outrage as Parents End Life After Child’s Dengue Death, has observed that solid waste management is a huge problem being faced by the country and it is time that some of these issues are looked at with all due concern and seriousness by the State Governments.
The Court made this observation while considering the submission made on behalf of the Union Government that only 15 States and Union Territories have responded to communication issued by MOEF regarding status of constitution of the State Level Advisory Body and in some of those States not even one meeting has been held of the SLAB.
The Court also directed MOEF to issue a communication to all the State Governments within two weeks from today requiring information from the State Governments about the setting up of the SLAB and the names of its members, the number of meetings held, the decisions taken and steps taken for implementation of the Rules including amendment of any Bye-laws that may be necessary.
The Court observed: “We direct the MOEF to follow up the matter with the State Governments in terms of our order and make it clear to the State Governments that in case they do not provide full, correct and accurate information to the MOEF, they are likely to be burdened with very heavy costs. The State Governments should keep in mind the fact that availability of funds is not a problem under Swachh Bharat Mission and also keep in mind that solid waste management is a huge problem being faced by the country at this stage.”
The Court also observed that this matter has to be taken up very seriously by all concerned not only in Delhi, but also in other parts of India as the issue of solid waste management is not confined only to Delhi, but is a problem in almost every large city in the country. “There is no seriousness attached to the management of solid waste to the extent that even the SLAB has not been set up and in some cases where the Body has been set up it has not even met once in six months.”, the Court said.
The Court observed that Rule 22 of the Solid Waste Management Rules contains the time line for implementation of the Rules. “No positive steps appear to have been taken to adhere to these time lines. It may be noted at this stage that the Rules came into force on 8th April, 2016 and more than one and half years have gone by.”, the Bench said.
The Bench also said that it also expects a definite plan of action to be prepared as also a strategy for solid waste management in Delhi so that it can be replicated in other parts of the country.
The Court posted the matter for further consideration on 6th February 2018.
Last week, The Delhi High Court, expressed its displeasure over the failure of the State in notifying the Solid Waste Management Bye-Laws, which were required to be notified in terms of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The High Court then asked Lt. Governor to notify Solid Waste Management bye-laws Within 3 Weeks.