In Chandigarh, HC puts stop to door-to-door garbage collection using motorized vehicles.

In a massive embarrassment for the Municipal Corporation (MC) as the issue got its reach to the High Court. The Punjab and Haryana High Court imposed a halt to its groundbreaking scheme of door-to-door garbage collection by motorized vehicles.

A Division Bench of the High Court, hearing the case, held the procedure and impact of the Solid Waste Management Bylaws, 2018. As well as a resolution issued by the MC on December 13, 2019, to buy waste collection vehicles.

The directions of Justice Jitendra Chauhan and Justice Vivek Puri’s bench are official notifications. They will be in effect at least until the next hearing date.

What is the issue?

The issue has been brought to the attention of the Bench after Pappu Kumar and other petitioners raised the problem. They conveyed their issues through counsel APS Shergill and Harmanjit Singh Sethi. They filed a petition against the UT and other respondents.

Moreover, many of the arguments have been presented before the Court. The primary one is that the 2018 bylaws and resolutions were in violation. They are not as per the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. They addressed the need to encourage garbage collectors and help to ensure their livelihood.

Shergill and Sethi further said that the brought into question resolution had appointed an intermediary for the work. They were also citing the minutes of the MC special meeting on December 13, 2019.

Their primary responsibility was to support and set up a mechanism for integrating these approved waste pickers and collectors into solid waste management, including garbage collection from door to door. They permit the formation of self-help organizations under a subclause.

Sethi and Shergill have said that waste management hired nearly 2,300 people. Even though only about 800 people were likely to be eligible for the job.

“The perspective of the actual owners, the petitioners who have been working as waste collectors for several years, has been under ignorance in the decision-making procedure, and they have been left at the mercy of an outsourced agency…,” they said.

The Court was also notified that the resolution stands in contrast to state policy, which aimed to generate new work openings and eliminate the middleman in all service industries.

“The process and impact of the Solid Waste Management Bylaws, 2018, and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh’s resolution as on date December 13, 2019, shall be on stay until the next date of hearing,” the Bench said.

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