Court gives dressing down to authorities for not adhering to orders on garbage problem

Observing that both the State government and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are taking “casually” the several orders passed by it earlier on petitions related garbage problem, the Karnataka High Court on Monday set August 30 as deadline to show compliance.

A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice B.V. Nagarathna made the oral observation even as they warned BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan that he would be personally held responsible if the BBMP failed to comply with the a series of directions issued by the Bench earlier.

“You will be in serious trouble if our orders are not complied with. Now the Supreme Court has also upheld our judgment on garbage contract issue… you once again read the judgement,” the Bench cautioned the Commissioner.

“You have not obeyed the orders passed by this court. It is a matter concerning citizens of Bangalore city. But both the government and the BBMP are not serious. They are taking it casually. There is total lethargy. It is only a drama that is being played in court,” the Bench observed while making it clear that it does not want excuses but want action.

These observations were made when it was told to the Bench by counsel for the BBMP that certain interim orders passed by two judges of the High Court had come in the way of adhering to some orders given by the Division Bench.

It was told to the Bench that new garbage tenders were floated as per the Division Bench’s order, but a single judge Bench, acting on petitions by some contractors, has directed the BBMP not open the bids though it permitted it to receive bids. The Bench was also told by BBMP counsel that the process of removing encroachments of Subramanyapura lake was stalled as a single judge bench, acting on petitions filed by alleged encroachers, had ordered status quo.

Meanwhile, government counsel submitted that the law to impose higher penalty for not segregating waste at source, dumping garbage at public places, etc., was passed by the State Legislature, but is pending before the Governor for his consent.

However, the Bench observed that the government should have appraised the Governor of the urgency in granting consent due to pendency of the matter in the High Court. Both the BBMP and the government should have informed the singe judge bench about the pendency of the matter before it, the Bench observed.

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