18th October, 2017 marked the 7th anniversary of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It has been that long since the Tribunal has been handling issues related to environment and natural resources and it has made a huge impact.
18th October, 2017 marked the 7th anniversary of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It has been that long since the Tribunal has been handling issues related to environment and natural resources and it has made a huge impact. Problems have been systematically addressed and accountability set allowing for greater care being taken by all concerned to ensure the environment is not affected by human activities to a large extent. But since smog enveloped Delhi’s air, NGT has more often been in the news. To control the air quality, the tribunal had imposed a ban on construction activities in Delhi-NCR and even banned trucks till the situation was extremely bad. NGT had also ordered Delhi government to submit data on the air quality in the capital. Days after when the air quality improved, the tribunal lifted the ban but maintained that the prohibitory orders regarding industries and stubble burning will remain in place.
The Delhi government had to scrap its decision of implementing the odd-even scheme when NGT said that there will be no exemption for women and two-wheelers. NGT had also imposed a ban on the protests and assembling of people at most iconic place Jantar Mantar. Though, the ban did not go down well with activists, who called it as a decision to curb dissent. However, the agency has stood its ground in the face of the stiffest of opposition.
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We have been hearing a lot about NGT, but less we know what it is about. So, here we answer the question, what is NGT.
- NGT (National Green Tribunal), was established on 18th October 2010, completed its seven-year-long journey last month. The Tribunal was established under National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
- The aim of the tribunal is to work on the disposal of cases related to environmental protection, conservation of forests and other natural resources. As per the mandate, NGT is set up at five places of sittings including Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai, However, New Delhi is the main place for the sitting of Tribunal. This is aimed to make NGT more accessible.
- NGT is a special body which works collectively to handle environmental disputes and issues. Besides, once the application is received by NGT, as per the mandate, they have 6 months of time for the disposal of application from the date of filing.
- In 2010, when NGT was set up, it was pointed out by the then government that India is among one of the few countries that have a specialised environmental court. Since then, almost 23,000 cases have been received by NGT.
- The aim of the National Green Tribunal Act 2010, is to come up with an effective disposal of cases relating to the environment, hence, reducing the burden of litigation on higher courts.