The National Green Tribunal has rapped the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the municipal corporations over illegal dairies and condition of cattle in the city while slapping a fine of Rs 10 lakh each for their failure in discharging their duties.
A bench headed by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said no dairy in Delhi was following waste management practices and there is a lack of sensitivity on the part of all the authorities.
The green panel said that DPCC and the four municipal corporations are liable to pay an interim compensation for damage to the environment due to failure of the authorities in discharging their duties.
"They are also held liable to furnish performance guarantee in the sum of Rs 10 lakh each for taking necessary steps in next three months. The deposit of compensation and furnishing of performance guarantee has to be to the satisfaction of the CPCB within one month," the bench said.
The tribunal directed the Delhi chief secretary to call a meeting of all concerned, fix their accountability and also to take appropriate action for their failure so far.
"Though various authorities of Delhi government are represented by counsel, none of the authorities has undertaken to comply with the environmental norms even though violation is clearly acknowledged. None of the counsel for the authorities, in spite of being called upon, has come out with any suggestions as to how the environment will be protected and what action is proposed to uphold the rule of law.
"This shows lack of sensitivity on the part of all the authorities represented before this tribunal. They have failed to perform their constitutional duties and responsibility in protecting environment and enforcing right of citizens to clean environment. If this is the state of affairs in the capital of the country, environment rule of law will remain a serious challenge, even if it is recognized as part of right to life," the bench said.
The tribunal noted that a joint report submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), DPCC and the affidavits filed by various authorities clearly establish serious violation of law and failure to take due remedial action in the matter.
"Such attitude is a threat to rule of law and renders it impossible to protect clean environment and cannot be appreciated," it said.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by animal rights activist Nuggehalli Jayasimha seeking directions to penalise and shut down illegal dairy units in Delhi.
The plea had claimed that the unauthorised dairies were causing air and water pollution leading to sanitation and health problems for both the cattle and residents of the city.
It had said dairy-owners do not adhere to the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Solid Waste Management Rules.
The petition had also alleged that waste from dairies was one of the major pollutants in river Yamuna, besides domestic waste and dumping of other material including animal carcasses.
Follow NDTV for latest election news and live coverage of assembly elections 2019 in Maharashtra and Haryana.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.