NGT directs Delhi govt to clean Seelampur drain

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The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government to immediately clean a trunk drain in northeast Delhi which is clogged with garbage and municipal solid waste.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar ordered the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control to ensure that it was free from garbage and silt.

“We direct that the trunk drain number one shall be cleaned by the NCT Delhi, the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control within one week and ensure that there shall be no remnant of municipal solid waste and other waste and silt should be seen in the drain after the lapse of one week,” it said.

A trunk drain is a large-capacity drainage or stormwater channel which clears local street drainage systems.

The green panel also asked the chief secretary of the Delhi government to hold a meeting and resolve the issue whether 168 drains which join trunk drain number one at Seelampur were maintained by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).

The tribunal had earlier taken note of a drain clogged with garbage and municipal solid waste in northeast Delhi and issued notices to the AAP government, EDMC and the Public Works Department.

The NGT had asked the authorities to show cause why appropriate action should not be taken against them for violating its orders.

Advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for the EDMC, had said that although the area falls under the jurisdiction of the corporation, the responsibility of cleaning the drains is with the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control of the Delhi government.

The order had come after the NGT took cognisance on its own of a media report and a picture showing a drain clogged with municipal solid waste near a residential area in Seelampur here.

The tribunal had earlier said that municipal solid waste was one of the most serious pollutants in the country, specially in Delhi, and anyone found throwing waste at public places would be fined Rs 10,000.

The green panel had said that all authorities are under “statutory” obligation to ensure that waste is “collected, transported and disposed” of in accordance with Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 so that it does not cause public health hazards.

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