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NGT conveys discontent to Environment Ministry

A view of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), in New Delhi. File

A view of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday rapped the Environment Ministry for failing to strengthen the monitoring mechanisms pertaining to the compliance of conditions mentioned in clearances granted for various projects. Stating that the lack of effective enforcement reflected the Centre’s “insensitivity” to the issue, the green panel directed the Ministry to take appropriate steps.

Taking note of an affidavit furnished by the Ministry, a Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “This only shows insensitivity to the vital constitutional obligation despite repeated directions. Repeated plea of merely having such proposals without effective enforcement on the ground can hardly be held to be satisfactory.”

Following submissions made by the Ministry, that “meaningful steps” had been taken after the filing of the affidavit, the Bench said, “We cannot accept such a statement. If steps have been actually taken, we fail to understand why the same could not be produced at least during the hearing. We record our dissatisfaction at the attitude of the MoEF&CC on the subject.”

The observations came when the green panel was hearing a plea moved by Sandip Mittal seeking directions to devise effective monitoring mechanisms for compliance of conditions of environmental clearance.

“Environment Impact Assessment is an essential component of the Precautionary as we all Sustainable Development principles. Laying down conditions for EC based on appraisal is not enough unless compliance thereof is duly monitored and ensured with a view to achieve the said object,” the Bench noted.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 12:49:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ngt-conveys-discontent-to-environment-ministry/article32243210.ece

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