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National green tribunal soon

The ministry of environment and forests has accepted the recommendation of a parliamentary panel to set up a new watchdog called the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to control carbon emissions and pollution, reports Chetan Chauhan.

delhi Updated: Jan 25, 2010 23:47 IST
Chetan Chauhan

The ministry of environment and forests has accepted the recommendation of a parliamentary panel to set up a new watchdog called the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to control carbon emissions and pollution.

Though the state and central pollution control boards are already engaged in monitoring and reducing pollution, the NGT will accept and probe complaints from citizens against alleged polluters.

The ministry expects Parliament to clear the revised draft of the bill in the budget session slated for end February.

Like the pollution control boards, the tribunal will have the power to fine erring industries. But it will also have the authority to shut down the industry if it turns habitual offender — a decision that can be challenged in the Supreme Court.

The ministry has agreed to insert a new section in the bill on the principles to be applied in the functioning of the tribunal. “It will give the tribunal the power to reject an approval to a project which it considers to be unsustainable,” a senior environment ministry official said. “Unsustainable growth will be defined in the rules to be notified once the bill is passed by the Parliament”.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said at the Copenhagen summit that India will adopt the path of low carbon growth.

The Planning Commission has constituted an expert group of recommend low carbon roadmap for economic growth of India.

Once the low carbon road map is incorporated in the 12th five-year plan, a ministry official said the tribunal would be a watchdog for its implementation.