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SC judge inspires green fighters

?COME OUT and move courts if you think the government is not responding to your appeals regarding protection of environment,? urged Justice Brijesh Kumar of the Supreme Court.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2006 00:04 IST

“COME OUT and move courts if you think the government is not responding to your appeals regarding protection of environment,” urged Justice Brijesh Kumar of the Supreme Court.

He was addressing a third three-day workshop on ‘Legal Awareness and Youth Participation in Environmental Compliance and Enforcement’ which got underway at IIM-L on Friday.

Justice Kumar is know for his path-breaking moves to protect the environment. He further said that by using the power of the Right to Information (RTI), the people could force the various departments to part with details regarding environmental pollution etc.

“The RTI could aid you in your efforts to improve the environment,” he advised. Justice Kumar narrated how it was tough for even people like him while deciding that all vehicles in Delhi must use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

“It was tough. We ourselves used to see long queues of vehicles waiting at CNG fuelling stations. That was difficult. But, eventually it all got sorted out and people have ultimately realized the need of CNG now,” he observed.

When he was the Chief justice of Assam High Court, he was again involved in another important issue of ensuring potable drinking water for the people. “Only 30 per cent people had access to potable water. When the matter was brought to our notice, we asked the state government to ensure that, got funds released and eventually about 70 per cent people had got access to pure water,” he said.                                       

And having said that Justice Kumar then asked the “environment ambassadors” who had gathered at IIM-L from across the country to start thinking of protecting the environment by leading with example. “Check whether your vehicle’s emission levels are within the permissible limits. Then move on to your friends and so on,” he urged the participants who after the three-day workshop would be nominated as “master trainers” who could influence others.

Prof Dharmendra Sengar, project leader of the workshop, along with Prof Roshan L Raina said that the legal awareness workshops for motivating youths to preserve the environment being sponsored by US government through the US Embassy and the IIM-L were part of the management institute’s commitment to serve the social sector.