Bill cleared for quick disposal of environmental issues

Posted by on May 5th, 2010 and filed under Environment/ Wildlife, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Parliament Wednesday approved a bill that seeks to provide effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environment protection, conservation of forests and other natural resources.

The bill, which also provides enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to people and property, was passed by the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote. It was cleared by the Lok Sabha April 30.

Replying to the brief debate on the National Green Tribunal Bill, 2010, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh agreed with members that five benches of the tribunal, as was being provided under the legislation, were insufficient.

The minister said he would approach the law ministry for setting up more benches of the tribunal in future.

During the debate, many members sought an increase in the number of tribunal members and wanted more tribunals in states.

‘There will be one central tribunal based in Bhopal and four benches. These will operate on circuit bench model and tribunal will make effort to go to people,’ Ramesh said.

In response to the concerns raised by members, the minster said decisions of the national green tribunal can be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Initiating discussion on the bill, Bal Apte of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said tribunals were not easily approachable. He said the intention of the bill was good but the legislation was defective.

Saman Pathak of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) expressed fears that the tribunal could become a tool in the hands of corporate houses.

V. Maitreyan of the AIADMK demanded greater transparency and objectivity in the appointment of members of the tribunal.

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