Taking serious note of the increasing number of deaths caused by vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya, the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, directed the Centre to apprise it of the steps taken for solid waste management in the country.
The Bench comprising Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta took note of the affidavit filed by the Directorate General of Health Services, who had informed the Court that vector borne diseases have been plaguing different parts of the country due to absence of solid waste management.
It, therefore, observed, "... it appears that the crucial issue is really the management of solid waste. Accordingly, we propose to limit this petition only to the issue of management of solid waste."
The Court was then informed by amicus curiae Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves about the existence of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The Bench noted that Rule 5 of the Rules places the responsibility of overall monitoring and implementation of these Rules on the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF).
It further noted that Rule 5 provides for constitution of a Central Monitoring Committee under the Chairmanship of the Secretary of the MoEF. This Committee is expected to meet at least once in a year to monitor and review the implementation of these Rules.
In light of such submissions, the Court then sought to know more about the implementation of these Rules and directed, "Since the issue of solid waste management is of considerable importance, particularly in view of the affidavits that are on record and the minutes of the meetings on record, we would require the Union of India through the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to file an affidavit within four weeks with regard to the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016."
The matter has now been directed to be listed on 12 December.