. ALMITRA H. PATEL AND ANR. PETITIONERS vs UNION OF INDIA AND ORS. . RESPONDENTS. Supreme Court, 15-02-2000

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PETITIONER:
ALMITRA H. PATEL AND ANR. PETITIONERS
Vs.
RESPONDENT:
UNION OF INDIA AND ORS. .. RESPONDENTS
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 15/02/2000
BENCH:
M.B.Shah, B.N.Kirpal, D.P.Mohapatro
JUDGMENT:
D E R
KIRPAL,J.
More in anguish, than out of anger, this Court nearly
four years ago in Dr. B.L. Wadhera Vs. Union of India and
Ors. [(1996) 2 SCC 594 at 595] observed: ?Historic city of
Delhi the capital of India is one of the most polluted
cities in the world. The authorities, responsible for
pollution control and environment protection, have not been
able to provide clean and healthy environment to the
residents of Delhi. The ambient air is so much polluted
that it is difficult to breathe. More and more Delhities
are suffering from respiratory diseases and throat
infections. River Yamuna the main source of drinking
water supply is the free dumping place for untreated
sewage and industrial waste. Apart from air and water
pollution, the city is virtually an open dustbin. Garbage
strewn all over Delhi is a common sight. The Municipal
Corporation of Delhi (the MCD) constituted under the Delhi
Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 (Delhi Act) and the New
Delhi Municipal Council (the NDMC) constituted under the New
Delhi Municipal Council Act, 1994 (New Delhi Act) are wholly
remiss in the discharge of their duties under law. It is no
doubt correct that rapid industrial development,
urbanisation and regular flow of persons from rural to urban
areas have made major contribution towards environmental
degradation but at the same time the authorities entrusted
with the work of pollution control cannot be permitted to
sit back with folded hands on the pretext that they have no
financial or other means to control pollution and protect
the environment. The Court then proceeded to issue 14
directions in an effort to see that the capital of the
biggest democracy in the world is not branded as being one
of the most polluted cities in the world.
It is indeed unfortunate that despite more than
sufficient time having elapsed the condition of Delhi has
not improved. The citizens of Delhi increasingly suffer
from respiratory and other diseases, the river Yamuna is
highly polluted and garbage and untreated domestic and
industrial waste is being either freely dumped into the said
river or is left on open land, large volume of which remains
unattended.
The present writ petition is concerned with the
question of solid waste disposal. By order dated 16th
January, 1998 this Court constituted a Committee headed by

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