KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued on Tuesday notices to the authorities concerned in the provincial local government, the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB), the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and deputy commissioners (DCs) of districts Malir and West on a petition seeking the halting of garbage dumping in a landfill site in the Jam Chakro locality of Gadap Town.
A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, also directed the law officers for the provincial government, the KMC and the district municipal corporations (DMCs) to file their comments by October 24.
A group of the residents of Jam Chakro deh, Gadap Town, had approached the court against the secretary of the provincial local government department, KMC, the DCs of District Malir and District West, the survey superintendent of the provincial board of revenue, along with the chairperson and managing-director of SSWMB.
The two-judges were informed that, on a daily basis, large quantities of garbage, hazardous waste and rubbish were seen being dumped in the vicinity of the petitioners’ residential premises, where a dump yard exists on a huge plot of land.
The petitioners also produced photographic evidence, saying that this practice of dumping garbage and waste near their residential premiss has had adverse effects, such as polluting the environment, emission of hazardous substances, along with huge amounts of smoke and fumes flowing from the same and a spread of dangerous diseases.
Apart from this, they said the garbage dumping was also destroying their peaceful occupancy and possession and that the property value of their land.
The court was told that not only was the garbage being dumped, it was later illegally burnt on a daily basis for its disposal, which emitted large clouds of smoke that made its way to the surrounding areas, including the residencies of the petitioners.
The petitioners said they had come to know that that the local government department had allotted or was about to allot more land adjacent to the existing dump yard for more activities relating to the disposal and burning of garbage. They apprehended that truckloads of garbage will be dumped and burnt at any time, which would only add to the existing dismay of the petitioners.
It was argued that in the terms of the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, it was a compulsory function and responsibility of the KMC and DMCs to remove waste and rubbish from all buildings, land and streets situated in their jurisdictions.
The court was told that as per the Solid Waste Management Board Act, 2014, SSWMB was responsible for the removal and disposal of solid waste from the land affected by such dumping.
However, they alleged that due to inaction on the part of the respondents, the residents were exposed to a polluted environment, catastrophic health hazards, widespread diseases and constant emissions of hazardous fumes.
“The petitioners are, therefore, also being deprived of their rights to life and peaceful enjoyment of their property, which are basic fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution,” argued their lawyer.
The lawyer argued that the unjustifiable dumping within the vicinity and in such close proximity to the residential premises is a blatant violation of the said fundamental rights and renders the respondents liable for their inaction and unconstitutional behaviour.
The court was pleaded to direct the respondents to immediately stop the dumping of garbage and solid waste.
A direction was sought for the local government department to restrain from allotting, designating, earmarking and using sites, areas or pieces of land close to the petitioners’ residences.
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Source: Tribune News | Residents move court against garbage dumping in Jam Chakro