J. Balaji

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Friday adopted the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Bill, 2009. It envisages the setting up of a national tribunal, a judicial body exclusively to deal with environmental laws and to provide citizens a right to environment.

The main Bench of the tribunal will be set up in Bhopal, “the site of humanity's one of the worst industrial tragedies.” This way the government and Parliament could show some sensitivity to the people of Bhopal, said Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, replying to a debate.

The Tribunal would have four circuit Benches. It would deal with all environmental laws on air and water pollution, the Environment Protection Act, the Forest Conservation Act and the Biodiversity Act. With this effort, India would join Australia and New Zealand, which have such specialised environment tribunals.

Mr. Ramesh said a Bill to set up the National Environment Protection Authority would be introduced in the monsoon session. It would monitor the implementation of environment laws.

The Tribunal members would be chosen by a committee.