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May 13, 2024

Supreme Court Condemns Failure to Process Delhi’s Municipal Solid Waste: Calls for Urgent Solutions

The Supreme Court has once again reprimanded authorities for their inability to manage the municipal solid waste crisis in Delhi, labeling the situation as a “sorry state of affairs”. On Monday, the apex court criticized the failure to process the 3,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste generated daily in the national capital, terming it as a matter of utmost concern.

A bench comprising justices AS Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan questioned lawyers representing various authorities, including the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), about the lack of effective solutions. “What is the solution to that?” the bench asked, emphasizing the critical nature of the issue and urging that politics should not interfere with finding a resolution.

This scathing observation by the court underscores the severity of the problem, highlighting the urgent need for action. The bench stressed that the proper processing of municipal solid waste is crucial for Delhi’s environment and public health.

During the hearing on April 22, the apex court had expressed shock at the revelation that 3,000 tonnes out of the 11,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste generated daily in Delhi remained untreated. The court had deemed this situation “shocking” and emphasized that it demands immediate attention.

The top court had examined a report from the Commission of Air Quality Management (CAQM) on pollution in the national capital region and its neighboring areas. The report further highlighted the gravity of the issue, indicating that unprocessed waste exacerbates pollution levels and poses serious health risks to residents.

In light of these alarming findings, the Supreme Court has vowed to address the matter seriously. The hearing has been adjourned for further deliberation later in the day, signifying the court’s commitment to finding concrete solutions to the waste management crisis.

This isn’t the first time that the issue of municipal solid waste mismanagement has come under judicial scrutiny. Over the years, various directives and orders have been issued to tackle the problem, but the lack of effective implementation remains a persistent challenge.

Delhi, one of the most populous and polluted cities in the world, cannot afford to neglect its waste management responsibilities. Failure to address this issue not only impacts the environment but also jeopardizes public health and quality of life for millions of residents.

The Supreme Court’s intervention underscores the need for a comprehensive and sustainable approach to waste management. It’s imperative for authorities to prioritize the development of robust infrastructure for waste processing and disposal, along with promoting public awareness and participation in waste reduction and recycling efforts.

Moreover, stricter enforcement of existing regulations and accountability measures for authorities responsible for waste management are essential to ensure long-term solutions.

In the face of escalating environmental challenges, including air and water pollution, effective waste management is non-negotiable. The Supreme Court’s insistence on action sends a clear message: it’s time for authorities to step up and fulfill their responsibilities to the citizens and the environment.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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