[Answered] NGT (National Green Tribunal) is a vital cog in environmental regulation but it needs further reforms to make it effective. Discuss.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Write some points related to the significance of NGT. Also suggest some reforms to make it effective.Conclusion: Write a way forward.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) came into existence in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal act, 2010. The act provides for effective and quick disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. The tribunal is guided by principles of natural justice and is not bound by the mainstream code of civil procedure.

Significance of NGT:

  • NGT has been a critical player in upholding environmental regulations. It has passed strict orders from various issues ranging from pollution to waste management and deforestation as well.
  • It offers a smooth road for the evolution of environmental jurisprudence by establishing such an alternative dispute resolution system.
  • It also helps reduce the burden of litigations in other courts of India by dealing exclusively with environmental matters.
  • It forms a less formal, faster and cheaper source of resolving disputes related to the environment.
  • The members and chairperson are not eligible for further appointment making them likely to deliver independent judgements without much pressure of bureaucracy and bias.

Needed reforms:

  • The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act 2006 is out of NGT’s jurisdiction. There is need to make changes as certain issues are linked to these acts which are directly linked to environmental protection.
  • Crunch of members: The tribunal is working with only 7 members as opposed to a minimum limit of 10 members. The vacancies should be filled as it leads to a halt in the redressal of environmental related disputes as well as lack of efficiency in the working of the tribunal.
  • Lack of resources: There is an urgent need for a comprehensive legal framework in order to interpret various acts and provisions relating to environmental protection.
  • Lack of institutionalization: There is a need to devise mechanisms through which the orders of the tribunal are obeyed and implemented in order to maintain its accountability. The recent examples of non-compliance include the ban imposed on polythene bags, ban on various construction and industrial activities etc.

NGT has given various path-breaking judgments and directives to the authorities since its inception including a ban on noise pollution, illegal mining etc. It is diligently working towards ensuring proper implementation of its orders. NGT must get the support it needs from Government but it must also do more to clean up its act.

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