Decided on March 05,2008



K.SAMPATH, J. - (1.) The prayer in the complaint runs as follows: - To pass an order directing (a) the 2nd respondent to pay a sum of Rs.25 lakhs as damages to the State Consumer Welfare Fund for the deficiency in service in not clearing the garbage in the area allotted to it from 25/8/2007 till 28/8/2007 and on every day when the default continued ; (b) to install adequate number of garbage bins to and recruit adequate number of personnel not being lesser than the numbers recruited by ONYX the earlier contractor to clear garbage and Municipal wastes in the areas allotted to it in the Chennai Corporation ; and (c) to grant such further or other orders as this Honble Forum may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of the case on the following allegations :- The complainant is a registered Trust working towards protecting the citizens rights in consumer and environmental issues. The 1st respondent representing the Chennai Corporation which is under a statutory obligation to ensure that the city is kept clean and safe by carrying out all the necessary actions to remove the garbage in the city regularly, has entered into a contract with the 2nd opposite party as could be seen from the announcement in the newspaper The Hindu dated 26/8/2007 for collection and removal of garbage of municipal wastes from the city from the said date onwards in respect of Ice House, Adyar, Pulianthope and Kodambakkam [Zone Nos.6, 10, 3 and 8]. The 2nd opposite party has miserably failed to take any initiatives to remove the municipal wastes since 25/8/2007 and the city is now accumulated with huge wastes and has become a breeding place for mosquitoes and other insects and thus endangering the health of the people in the Chennai Corporation limits. Money to the 2nd opposite party has been paid from the taxpayers funds. The citizens living in these zones are beneficiaries and therefore entitled collectively through the complainant to file this complaint.
(2.) Along with the complaint, the complainant took out two applications viz., (1) MP No.112/2007 for a direction to the opposite parties to install adequate number of garbage bins in those zones and (2)MP No.113/2007 for a direction to the 2nd opposite party to clear the accumulated garbage in those zones forthwith. After notice was ordered to them, the opposite parties also appeared before us. On 31/8/2007 Mr.G.A. Dominic Savio Joseph representing the 2nd opposite party undertook to file a clear affidavit on 3/9/2007 committing themselves to remove the accumulated garbage by 5/9/2007. On 31/8/2007 this Commission passed an order to the following effect:- The situation is pretty serious and the consequences will be unimaginable. It will lead to cholera, leptospirosis, etc. It is rather unfortunate that the authorities have not realized the seriousness of the situation. Call on : 03/09/2007 On 7/9/2007 the 1st opposite party filed an affidavit denying the various allegations and averments made by the complainant and stating further as follows: - After noticing the accumulated garbage the 1st opposite party took necessary action by deploying adequate staff and vehicles to remove the garbage. The 1st opposite party also issued a statutory notice to the 2nd opposite party to execute the work as per the contract entered into between opposite parties 1 and 2. The 1st opposite party directed the 2nd opposite party to deploy adequate vehicles for the complete removal of the garbage from the streets. On 26/8/2007 the operation started for removal of garbage and as on the date of swearing to the counter viz., 6/9/2007, there was no accumulation/backlog of garbage in the service area of the 2nd opposite party. The counter prayed for dismissal of the complaint.
(3.) Meanwhile, the complainant took out an application for the appointment of Advocate Commissioners for submission of factual report on the clearance of accumulated garbage in Zones 6, 10, 3 and 8. We appointed Mr.S.Natarajan and Dr.V.Suresh, Advocates, as Advocate Commissioners. We requested Mr.S.Natarajan to visit Kodambakkam and Pulianthope [Zones 3 & 8] and Dr.V.Suresh to visit Ice House and Adyar [Zones 6 and 10]. We also permitted them to take the assistance of photographers and to collect affidavits from the residents of the four zones. We also asked them to give their cell phone numbers to the residents in case the residents needed to report about the garbage accumulation in their area. We requested them to visit their respective zones during the next seven days at hours convenient to them after putting the complainant and the opposite parties on notice. The Advocate Commissioners accordingly visited their respective zones and Mr.S.Natarajan filed a final report while Dr.V.Suresh filed an interim report and thereafter a final report. Mr.S.Natarajans report is dated 24/9/2007 and of Dr.V.Suresh the interim report is dated 17/9/2007 and the final report 28/9/2007.;

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