Why is Delhi Government not enforcing the Solid Waste Management Policy?

About two months ago, the Delhi Municipal Corporations (MCDs) along with environmental experts had framed a draft of bye laws on Solid Waste Management (SWM). However, it has not been implemented.

Last week, when the Delhi High Court had hauled the state government for not complying with its earlier order, the government stated that the Lieutenant Governor’s approval on the draft was pending. However, the court had directed the AAP government to implement SWM bye laws within two weeks.

Interestingly, this fact has been contradicted by a section of state government officials who have told City Spidey on condition of anonymity that the draft had already been approved in September. However, the official refused to give any further details on this matter.

The draft was jointly framed by local authorities and court-appointed environmental experts. The environmental experts’ have proposed user fee for municipal services.

P K Khandelwal, chief engineer (EDMC) informed City Spidey that when the proposal for user fee was accepted by the HC, MCDs were immediately asked to fix the amount. “NDMC and Delhi Cantonment had unanimously fixed charges on municipal services and handed it over to the court appointed committee. The power to implement such bye laws lies on the Delhi Government.”

If the draft bye laws are implemented, the buildings in residential areas commanding floor area up to 50 square meters shall be charged Rs 50 per month by way of municipal user fee. Buildings having floor area above 50 square metres to 200 square metres shall be charged Rs 100 and the buildings above 200 square metres shall be levied Rs 200 (as user fee). User charges shall also be imposed on street vendors ranging between Rs 50 to Rs 100 per month.

On the other hand, commercial establishments, shops, eating places (Dhaba/sweet shop/coffee house etc) each would have to pay Rs 500 per month as user charges. A sum of Rs 2000 has been fixed for guest houses, dharamshalas, hostels, restaurants with sitting capacity up 50 persons. Restaurants with sitting capacity above 50 persons shall be charged Rs 3000.

Hotels (unstarred) would pay Rs 2000 while hotels up to three stars and above would pay Rs 3000 and Rs 5000 respectively. Each commercial and government office would pay Rs 2000.

Kahndelwal said, “These charges shall be uniform across the city including regularised residential colonies.”

The bye-laws would also enforce segregation of waste at sources such in the households, and housing societies.

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