LG Can’t Enjoy Power Without Accountability: AAP After HC Order on Sewer Deaths

A sweeper and a security guard died on 9 September after they inhaled toxic gases inside a sewer.

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LG Can’t Enjoy Power Without Accountability: AAP After HC Order on Sewer Deaths

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After the Delhi High Court took cognisance of the death of two people during cleaning of a sewer in the city, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) targeted Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, saying that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which comes under him, is responsible for the tragic incident.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the incident, a high court bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed registering a public interest litigation and issued notice to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Delhi government and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in the matter on the basis of a news report dated 11 September.

Reacting to the court’s order, AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said in a statement on Monday that the Delhi LG cannot "enjoy power without accountability.”

There was no immediate reaction either from the LG Office or the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to the AAP's charge.

A sweeper and a security guard had died on 9 September in Outer Delhi's Mundka area after they inhaled toxic gases inside a sewer they had gone down to clean, police had said.

 Meanwhile, AAP’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal will hold a town hall meeting with sanitation workers in Ahmedabad on Tuesday and also make a "guarantee" announcement, an AAP functionary said.


The court also appointed senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao as the amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist it.

"I thank Delhi High Court's Chief Justice Satish Sharma for taking suo motu cognisance of the case and asking how the incident happened when manual scavenging is banned in Delhi," Bharadwaj, who is also the DJB vice president, said.

"The DDA, which comes directly under the LG, is responsible for these two deaths... The LG cannot enjoy power without accountability," he added.

'System Cannot Work With a Power-Corrupted Head'

Bharadwaj claimed that it is clear that "the department in question" was evading the issue and not owning up to its "grave crime" as in this case, right from the sewer line and its sewerage to the pumping station, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had complete control over the operations. 

The DJB vice president said he took cognisance of the incident and sought a report from his office soon after he read about it in the newspapers.

"We waited for the LG Office to step up and accept their responsibility but the dead silence that they maintained, besides the evasiveness of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, is shameful," he said, targeting Saxena.

The AAP leader also alleged that the LG Office went on "extreme lengths" to misguide the high court as well in the matter.

"The central government's lawyer did not submit in the court that DDA is at fault, instead got the court to issue notices to the Delhi government, MCD and Delhi Jal Board," he said.

The Delhi government's lawyers will "certainly" submit "a complete report" to the court but the Delhi LG must understand that power always comes with accountability, Bharadwaj said, adding "LG can't run away like this."

"Why did not LG meet the victims' families, offer his regret or condolence? Why did not the LG chart out the corrective measures taken in DDA to avoid such an incident again?" he asked.

"This system cannot work with a power-corrupted head without any accountability," he added.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Topics:  AAP    Arvind Kejriwal 

Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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