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Public Health / Sanitation

Civic bodies consciously converted Delhi into an urban slum, says HC

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The Hindu     03.06.2017   

Civic bodies consciously converted Delhi into an urban slum, says HC

Urban slumGarbage clogs a drain outside the World Health Organization office at Indraprastha on Friday.Shiv Kumar Pushpakar  

Municipal commissioners directed to be present before the court on next date of hearing on June 21

The municipal corporations have reduced the Swachh Bharat campaign to a “complete nought” by their “inaction and apathy” to clean up the city, the Delhi High Court said on Friday while asking the municipal commissioners why contempt action must not be initiated against them.

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar directed the commissioners to be present before it on the next date of hearing on June 21, making it clear that no plea for exemption would be entertained.

‘Not moved a step’

Delhi, which once had the largest per capita forests, “has been consciously converted into an urban slum”, the court observed, adding that as per the provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act, the “prime responsibility for the wilful and contumacious conduct [of the three MCDs] rests in the Commissioners”.

The court said it was “shocking” that despite the concerns it had raised regarding solid waste collection and disposal in the past and recently on May 31, the corporations “have not moved a single step”.

‘Delhi has to live’

The court said it was passing the orders for the “cause of the city” as “Delhi has to live”.

“Some urgency should have been shown,” the Bench said, adding that it was “unfortunate” that even the law laid down by the Supreme Court to provide a clean environment for people “have fallen on deaf ears”.

“They [corporations] are in complete breach of rights of the citizens under the Constitution, apart from provisions of the DMC Act, civil laws and Constitutional duties,” the court said.

“Apart from the concerns of health, environment and right to life of the citizens of Delhi, we are also concerned about the wilful violation and disobedience of orders of the courts,” it added.

‘Complete apathy’

The order came after a TV channel’s video showed that garbage was not being collected and disposed of from several Delhi colonies for days on end.

The Bench added that the material placed before it “reflects complete apathy and inability” of the civic bodies.

It also said that the corporations’ inaction would have a direct impact on the health of Delhiites and an “irreversible effect” on the environment.

Give news report to PMO

“Right to a clean environment cannot be compromised,” it said, issuing notice to the MCD commissioners to show cause why contempt of court action not be taken against them. The court also directed that its orders and the news video reports be placed before the Prime Minister’s Office so that the Swachh Bharat campaign can be implemented in spirit.

The Bench said the orders and video reports also be placed before Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal so that he can “ensure the needful is done” for collection and disposal of solid waste.

The court also came down heavily on the corporations for “ruthlessly and callously” permitting compounding and regularisation of unplanned and unauthorised colonies without ensuring increase or improvement in civic amenities like sewage and water lines. The Bench said that existing garbage dumps did not have the capacity to cope with the garbage generated, which is why waste was flowing on to the roads.

It noted that conversion of residential property for commercial activity, as well as setting up of clinics and markets, was being permitted without providing for more parking or increasing width of roads.

They [civic bodies] are in complete breach of rights of the citizens under the Constitution

Delhi High COurt


Mayor promises to keep Mysuru city clean

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The New Indian Express       05.06.2017  

Mayor promises to keep Mysuru city clean

MYSURU: In the wake of Maharani’s College hostel students’ protest over prevailing unhygienic conditions in the hostel and the death of a student, Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) officials have swung into action to take up a cleanliness drive.

MCC gangmen, on the directions of Mayor Ravikumar, cleaned the hostel premises and cleared weeds as the students alleged that Sachitha S Aradya, a second year BSc student, died due to dengue after she was admitted to a private hospital. The hostel students alleged she might have died due to dengue and staged a flash protest on the campus, alleging that drinking water has been contaminated.

The health officials have ruled out that the student died of dengue and clarified that she was suffering from high fever and was admitted to a hospital. Meanwhile, Ravikumar said they have decided to get the water tank cleaned, take up de-weeding and fogging of the hostel premises.

He said the officials are directed to fog the parks and residential areas and sought public co-operation to maintain cleanliness in the city. He added sumps should be closed and the stagnant water should be cleared in residential areas.

Send pictures on WhatsApp

Ravikumar said he would attend to public complaints if they send pictures of water-logging on streets or stagnant water on footpaths to his WhatsApp number.  “I have assured them and the people that the corporation will work 24x7 and do its best to see that no dengue cases are reported in the city,” he added.

MCC unlikely to meet ‘Swachh’ target on individual toilets

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The Hindu          26.05.2017   

MCC unlikely to meet ‘Swachh’ target on individual toilets

Lack of space for constructing toilets in households of beneficiaries is cited as reason for non-completion

The ‘Swachh’ target of constructing 425 individual toilets in the limits of Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) is unlikely to be achieved. Mysuru lost crucial marks in this parameter (individual toilets) since it failed to complete the construction in time, thus losing out in overall marks.

MCC authorities claim to have built 350 toilets so far and are finding it difficult to build the remaining 75 for a strange reason — lack of space in the households.

When MCC did a survey at households that lacked toilets, the house owners had expressed their readiness to have one. When the MCC authorities were ready to build them, lack of space was the hindrance.

Lack of space

This was confirmed to The Hindu by MCC Commissioner G. Jagadeesha, who is now planning to write to the Union Ministry of Urban Development and urge it to consider 350 toilets as the target. “Where can we build toilets when there is no space in their households?” he asked.

The beneficiaries had given their consent for the toilets and accordingly the list was prepared for construction.

“The technical problem is that there is no space in their homes for the toilets,” he said. The Commissioner said Mysuru will surely get the marks set aside for individual toilets in the next survey since MCC has fulfilled its tasks.

CSR funds

To a question on how Mysuru can claim to be “open defecation-free” when some households still lack individual toilets, he said: “The parameters were different and cannot be compared. We have community toilets as well. Mysuru is already an open defecation-free city.”

MCC managed to get funds under Corporate Social Responsibility for the construction of individual toilets. “J.K. Tyres came forward to fund the construction of a few toilets while some were built by us,” he said.

Mr. Jagadeesha said he has prepared a proposal for presentation to the Directorate of Municipal Administration on the MCC’s plan to open a Project Implementation Unit for Swachh Bharat initiatives, including tenders.

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