Bangalore, June 29;While pulling up the new commissioner of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) M. Lakshminarayana for not reading its judgment on garbage tenders, the Karnataka High Court on Friday also directed him to segregate the “garbage within the BBMP first.”
“When the Commissioner himself has not read the court’s judgment, then what is happening in the [BBMP]? We [Bench] have told what the law is [to be followed in garbage contract tenders]. But you are allowing the old contractors to work. It appears that second division clerks are running the [BBMP],” observed a Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice B.V. Nagarathna orally.
The bench made the scathing observation when Mr. Lakshminarayana could not answer its query on whether he had read the April 26 verdict on the garbage tender row, and after it noticed that in 38 garbage collection and transportation packages, the BBMP had allowed in old contractors despite certain court directions. The BBMP had admitted certain difficulties with regard to these 38 packages.
“Don’t go by the word of these officials. Garbage in the [BBMP] has to be removed first. Segregate them [officials] and if necessary, throw them out,” the Bench orally observed while hearing a batch of public interest litigation (PILs) petitions on the garbage problem.
Expressing serious displeasure over the tardiness in finding a solution to THE garbage problem ever since the court started hearing these PILs, the Bench said: “We have given a long rope. But, now as a last chance, one month’s time will be given. If nothing comes out, we will then exercise our discretion and heads will roll. We don’t want any of these reports: we want action.”
The court also came down heavily on the State government for not notifying the penalty rules regarding littering and garbage segregation even though the government itself had told the court more than six months ago that it was amending the rules.
“You have to start imposing fine on people who are making Bangalore dirty. By the next date of hearing, the rules should be in force…,” the Bench made it clear.
The government counsel told the bench they would be finalised in a month’s time and, if possible, would be given effect also.
The Bench adjourned further hearing to August 8 while asking the BBMP to accept suggestions and objections from the public on the reports of expert committees on garbage issue.
On the issue of dumping of waste in Turahalli forest area, the bench said it would initiate action against the officials concerned if no charge-sheet is filed within 15 days against those booked for dumping waste in forest land.