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We are not garbage collectors: Supreme Court to Centre

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When the Centre attempted to submit its 845-page affidavit on solid waste management, Justice Madan Lokur quipped that the Supreme Court is not a ‘garbage collector’.

The bench, comprising Justice Deepak Gupta, has been tasked with environmental and social justice matters, according to the recently published Supreme Court roster. The apex court was hearing an ongoing PIL on air pollution and solid waste management.

However, when the advocate who submitted the report confessed that he had not yet read the report, Justice Lokur said: “There is no point in filing affidavits if they contain nothing. You have not seen it and you want us to see this affidavit. What are you trying to do? Are you trying to impress us? We are not impressed. You are trying to dump everything on us. We are not going to accept it.”

During the course of the hearing, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing as an amicus in the case, submitted that Delhi had taken many steps to combat the problem of solid waste management. Gonsalves also pointed out the different measures that the city’s civic body plans to undertake in order to implement the rules chalked out in the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016. Gonsalves submitted that the different municipal corporations had planned measures like segregation of waste, and door-to-door collections. He further added that the corporations have agreed that cleaning should be done twice a day, and a complaint mechanism would also be put in place, besides having an officer in-charge to deal with it.

When it was suggested that the Delhi model could be emulated elsewhere in the country, Justice Lokur quipped that the national capital should not be a role model for the country since it was grappling with the “terrible problem” of air pollution. “We hope not. There is a terrible problem of pollution here.”

The top court was hearing a plea in a matter it took cognisance of wherein Laxmi Chandra Rout and his wife Babita committed suicide after their son Avinash died due to dengue.

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