The Delhi High Court has accepted a set of draft bye-laws on sanitary waste disposal framed jointly by local authorities and environmental experts, which call for introduction of user fees for municipal services among other things.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the Delhi government to forward the bye-laws to the office of the Lieutenant Governor so that these can be immediately notified, media reports said.
The bye-laws are the “first of its kind” in the country, the experts told the bench.
Besides introducing user fees for using municipal services, the bye-laws provide for enforcing segregation at source such as in the households and housing societies, strengthening of waste collection, storage, transportation and processing systems and imposing of penalties for littering or violating the rules, the reports said.
The fees and penalties will see a five per cent per annum increase, the draft bye-laws, which have been approved by all the local authorities, reportedly said.
The court had ordered framing of the draft bye-laws after environmental experts like Sunita Narain, Almitra Patel and M C Mehta, had claimed that a major challenge faced in solid waste management was lack of such provisions.
The court was looking into the issue of solid waste management as it was of the view that garbage and lack of cleanliness contributed to spread of vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya, reported PTI.
The view was expressed by the court during the hearing of two PILs by lawyers Arpit Bhargava and Gauri Grover who had sought directions to municipal bodies and other authorities to take steps to prevent the spread of dengue, chikungunya and malaria.
During the day’s hearing, the bench said nothing much has changed since the last date of hearing in August when it had questioned the efficacy of steps taken by the authorities, especially the municipal corporations, to clean up the city.
The observations came after the bench viewed a video depicting lack of cleanliness and waste management in the national capital, media reports said.
The court further said the corporations would have to ensure reduction in garbage and said the municipal bodies were yet to address the issue.
The bench also reportedly said that the entire problem was caused by the unauthorised colonies in the national capital.