Civic bodies do not prepare in advance for the recurrent problem: Petition

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi Chief Secretary to set up a high-power committee taking on board all stakeholders to suggest long and short term measures to deal with water-logging in the Capital.

Passing the direction, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Vipin Sanghi said the committee will have officials of the Public Works Department, the East, South and North Delhi Municipal Corporations, the New Delhi Municipal Council, the Delhi Jal Board and the Irrigation Department as its members.

The Bench directed Delhi’s Standing Counsel Najmi Waziri to inform it of the formation of the committee within a week.

The Bench was hearing two separate petitions complaining that the civic bodies were not taking effective measures to de-silt drains to prevent water-logging in the Capital.

Petitioner advocate Gaurav Bansal submitted that the civic bodies normally did not make advance preparations to deal with the problem, a recurrent feature in the Capital during the rainy season.

According to the information provided to him by the Public Works Department on an application under the Right to Information Act, he said there were as many as 41 identified water-logging prone spots in the city.

Another petitioner, non-government organisation Nyaya Bhoomi, sought initiation of contempt proceedings against officers of the three the Municipal Corporations of Delhi for their alleged violation of the Court’s July 11 order asking them to file status reports about the steps taken for de-silting drains to prevent water-logging.

The Court had on July 11 directed the civic bodies to file status reports within a fortnight after taking measures to de-silt drains.

The matter will come up for hearing on September 5.

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