Delhi HC summons chief secretary over water contamination

The Delhi High Court Wednesday summoned the city chief secretary over not submitting a report on contaminated water supplied to residents and not cleaning the polluted Najafgarh drain that was affecting the health of people due to toxic gases emitted from it and which later merges into the Yamuna river.

A division bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Jayant Nath expressed displeasure on the conduct of the Delhi government and Delhi Jal Board for not filing a status report on the issues sought by it months before.

"We had granted time for filing status report. Now we seek personal presence of the chief secretary. He will be present in court April 23," the bench said.

The bench also said "Delhi people have no civic sense and throw garbage at any place".

The court was hearing a suo motu cognizance on a letter sent to it by the residents welfare association (RWA) of South Extension Part I complaining that 90 percent of the water was contaminated.

The letter also informed the court about the dismal condition of the colony due to open sewers and more than 50-year-old pipes because of which sewage gets mixed with drinking water, leading to diseases.

It also clubbed a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by residents of Shakti Nagar through advocate Shiv Charan Garg, alleging that the Najafgarh drain was passing through the colony and spoiling the health of people.

The bench during its last hearing had asked the Delhi Jal Board to file a status report indicating the steps taken to clean the Najafgarh drain.

The court had made it clear that no sewage should flow into any drain meant to carry rain water.

The PIL said that due to pollution, people have to spend a lot of money for frequently repairing air conditioners, fridges and the like.

Swine flu, chikungunya etc have affected the people, the plea said, adding that mosquitoes were spreading diseases in the area and the rest of Delhi as the drain flows into the Yamuna.

The petition said the exhaust gas pipes that helps in removing toxic gases from the drain were closed, and removed in 2005 and these gases were now spreading in the colony.

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