The Supreme Court on Monday opined that it was “unfortunate and tragic” that the Centre had refused to make any payment towards the sanitation crisis arising out of the strike by sanitation workers of East Delhi Municipal Corporation over regular payment of salaries.
During the hearing, the Bench comprising Justice MB Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta noted that on October 3, Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi Government had submitted that an amount of Rs. 500 crores will be released within two days for “tiding up the present sanitation crisis”. Mr. Mehra now submitted that this amount had been released.
The court, however, noted that while it had expected the Central Government to “graciously reciprocate the offer of the Delhi Government on humanitarian grounds”, the Centre had now submitted that it was not prepared to make any payment at all.
Lamenting the submission, it then listed the matter on 24 October.
The Court is hearing a suo motu petition concerning the death of a seven-year-old kid who suffered from dengue in 2015. According to reports, the child was allegedly denied treatment by five private hospitals, and his devastated parents had subsequently committed suicide.
During the hearing of this petition, the Court was informed that vector-borne diseases were on rise due to poor management of solid waste in the country. It had further been told that since sanitation workers were abstaining from work in East Delhi, there was a huge amount of garbage that has piled up in the area.
Consequently, the court had, on July 10, given one final opportunity to all States and UTs to comply with the laws governing solid waste management. This was after the Court noted that despite two years having passed since the notification of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, more than two-third of the States and UTs had not complied with the requirements under the Rules.
It had then, last month, stayed construction activities in a few States and Union Territories (UTs), until the framing of a Policy under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 by them.
The direction was issued after the Bench comprising Justice MB Lokur and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer castigated a few States and UTs for their “pathetic attitude” in having delayed the formulation of a policy until now.