The National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued a bailable warrant against the Uttarakhand Chief Secretary on Friday as no one appeared on behalf of the State despite issue of notice more than three weeks back on a plea regarding the natural calamity in the State.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also issued a bailable warrant against the Director General of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) as no one had appeared on its behalf either.
“Nobody appears on behalf of respondents 2 (Uttarakhand) and 9 (BRO) despite being duly served. The presence of these respondents is essential before the Tribunal for the purpose of fully and finally adjudicating the issues involved in the matter which is of great public importance.
“We issue bailable warrants against all these respondents for a sum of Rs 20,000 each to the satisfaction of arresting officer for their production on the next date of hearing,” the bench said and listed the matter for August 26.
While granting time of two weeks to the respondents to file their responses, the bench asked the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) what it has done so far and is the Uttarakhand disaster not enough for it to “wake up”.
“What are you (NDMA) doing? Is it (Uttarakhand disaster) not enough to wake you up? You should do something,” it said.
It asked the other government authorities as well to take steps to prevent such extensive damage from reoccurring due to a natural calamity and not to “sit on” the issue.
The Tribunal also made it clear that in their replies, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Uttarakhand government and the other authorities will have to specifically deal with the points raised by the bench in its July 2 order.
It also directed them to place before it the gist of the ecological studies conducted by them so far.
Senior advocate Raj Panjwani, appearing for Legal Aid Committee National Green Tribunal Bar Association which had filed the petition, was not in favour of the grant of time.