LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2007 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 236-237
Court directs state of Rajasthan to clean up Jaipur City and improve environment
Department of Community Medicine, Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research, Surat - 395 010, Gujarat, India
|Date of Submission||02-Jul-2007|
|Date of Acceptance||10-Aug-2007|
R K Bansal
Department of Community Medicine, Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research, Surat - 395 010, Gujarat
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Bansal R K. Court directs state of Rajasthan to clean up Jaipur City and improve environment. Indian J Community Med 2007;32:236-7
|How to cite this URL:|
Bansal R K. Court directs state of Rajasthan to clean up Jaipur City and improve environment. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2007 [cited 2019 Aug 25];32:236-7. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2007/32/3/236/36848
It is now a well-established fact that health is strongly affected by our residential environment. Though developed countries have largely succeeded in their environmental promotional activities, in India, sadly, the concept of healthy environment still remains a mirage. Excuses such as inadequate funds are invariably cited by statutory bodies in defense of their failure to discharge their duties. How then do we deal with such a catch-22 situation?
A recent judgment of a court of Rajasthan  should prove an eye opener to all in terms of ascertaining that government/ public bodies actually perform their duties and in terms of fixing accountability of various state functionaries.
In a recent case, the court took notice of the filth, squalor, dirt, garbage encroachments, open drains, potholes and illegal constructions in Jaipur city and preceded suo moto against the State of Rajasthan with the assistance of the magical Article 21 and also 226 of the Constitution. The court pronounced that right to life, which is worth living, is enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution; and this includes right to shelter, decent environment and a clean city. It accordingly rejected the plea of lack of finances and fixed the responsibility of the Chief Secretary of the Government of Rajasthan to ensure enforcement of its orders and report compliance in a month's time.
The court ordered restrictions on manufacture, sale and use of polythene bags <20 micron thickness; illegal constructions; encroachments; conduction of commercial activities in residential areas and hoardings. The court also directed upkeep of public roads, historical places; to ensure that newer constructions in the city were as per plans; maintenance of lakes; construction of public toilets and night shelters; house-to-house garbage collection and its proper transportation and disposal; health education of residents; to make waste management plans; construction of bus shelters/ stops; provision of adequate civic amenities at railway stations and platforms.
In a significant move, the court also directed that entries be made in the annual confidential report of executive officers in whose jurisdiction illegal constructions and encroachments have happened and that these entries should also be considered during their promotion. This move has fixed accountability of executive officers and should act as a strong deterrent against erring officers.
This judgment should remind all citizens that we are all collectively responsible in ensuring that government and public bodies are discharging their statutory functions satisfactorily and also protecting our environment. In cases of default, we need to bring these to the notice of the High Courts and the Supreme Court so that remedial measures can be adopted and punitive action taken against erring officials. Such judgments will send strong signals to government officials. The reinterpretation of Article 21 has done wonders to the concept of the components of the right to life and their enforceability. 
| References|| |
|1.||Suo Moto. Petitioner V. State of Rajasthan and others. All India Reporter 2005. 92 (1095), p. 82-7. |
|2.||Bansal RK. Judicial activism in establishing the right to health care in India. In : Peters GA, Peters BJ, editors. Sourcebook on Asbestos Diseases. Lexis-Reed Elsevier: Charlottesville; 1998. p. 53-92. |