NGT on Brahmapuram fiasco
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Statutory bodies; Environment issues; Pollution
- National Green Tribunal (NGT) bench held that the Chairman and Member Secretary of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) will be held liable if they fail to initiate prosecution and recover compensation from those responsible for the unscientific handling of waste at the dumping site of the Kochi Corporation at Brahmapuram.
- NGT bench observed that the progress (remediation) appeared to be very slow and was disregardful of the statutory and constitutional obligation of providing a clean environment.
Important Value Additions:
Key points to remember:
- Non-compliance with Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 (SWM Rules, 2016)
- Unscientific handling of waste at the dumping site resulting in environment pollution and impacting public health
- Role of State Pollution Control Board (SPCB)
- Role of State Level Monitoring Committee on solid waste management
- Role of National Green Tribunal (NGT)
Do you know?
- To protect and improve the environment is a constitutional mandate.
- It is a commitment for a country wedded to the ideas of a welfare State.
- Indian Constitution contains specific provisions for environment protection under DPSPs and FDs.
Article 48A (DPSP): ‘Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife. The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country’.
Article 51-A (g) FD: “It shall be duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.”
Article 21 FR: Right to wholesome environment is a part of right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
“The State is under constitutional obligation to ensure clean environment to all its citizens. In cases of pertaining to environmental matter, the State has to act as facilitator and not as obstructionist.”
About National Green Tribunal
- National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 provides for establishment of NGT for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environment protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
- NGT to also deal with enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property.
- The NGT Act envisages establishment of NGT in order to deal with all environmental laws relating to air and water pollution, the Environment Protection Act, the Forest Conservation Act and the Biodiversity Act as have been set out in Schedule I of the NGT Act.
NOTE: Wildlife Protection comes under the ambit of Green bench of Supreme Court and not under NGT.