It may be noted that the NGT through its order has constituted a committee consisting of various authorities in Delhi with LG, the de facto head of Delhi, as its chairman to address the issue of solid waste management.
The committee includes the Chief Secretary of Delhi, Secretaries of Irrigation, Forest and Environment, Agriculture and Finance Departments of Delhi Government, Chief Executive Officer of Delhi Jal Board, Vice Chairman of DDA, a representative from the Union Ministry of Agriculture. In addition, the committee will also have the Director General of Forests or his nominee from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), a representative from the Ministry of Jal Shakti or (MoEF&CC), the Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Central The Chairman of the Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is also included.
The Delhi government in its petition has acknowledged the need for coordination among various departments to address the problems of solid waste management and adopt remedial measures. But the Delhi government has also raised strong objections to the executive powers given to the LG through the NGT order. The government says that giving these powers is an encroachment on the areas falling under the competence of the elected government, especially in Delhi. The Delhi government’s plea states that the NGT has appointed the Lt Governor as the chairman of the committee, whereas the Lt Governor was not given any statutory or constitutional power to head such a committee.
The Delhi government argued in its appeal that as per the administrative set up in Delhi and the provisions of Article 239AA of the Constitution, the LG acts as the ceremonial head except in matters relating to land, public order and police. LG exercises the powers given by the constitution on all these three subjects. The Delhi government has acknowledged the importance of coordination between departments, but has also emphasized that the language used in the NGT order sidesteps Delhi’s elected government. It has been argued in the petition that giving executive powers to an administrative person who does not have a constitutional mandate actually undermines the authority of the government elected by the people.
Further, the Delhi government has stated that the remedial steps suggested by the NGT, such as setting up new waste processing facilities, augmentation of existing waste processing facilities and remediation of old waste sites, etc., require budgetary allocations authorized by the Legislative Assembly of the Delhi government. it occurs. Therefore, the role of the elected government becomes very important in this regard.
The Delhi government’s plea states that the NGT has gone too far in its order and has also mandated the high-level committee to maintain and manage a ring-fence environment compensation account for the purpose of solid waste management. Objecting to this, the Delhi government has said that it is a clear violation of federal principles, which govern the National Capital Territory of Delhi.