17 Sep 2009
The new Minister of Environment and Forest Ministry seems to be a man in hurry but with a purpose. A look at the recent updates on the Ministry's website gives cogent evidence to this effect. But then what concerns this post is the proposal unveiled today to establish a 'National Environmental Protection Authority'.
The proposal "discusses the need for an effective model of environmental governance in India, which includes the establishment of a National Environment Protection Authority", the reason being that the "gaps in the institutional mechanisms and implementation has not kept pace with the legislative and policy evolution". Accepting that the judiciary has done much more in the area of environmental protection than the Government itself, the proposal seems to have been made to tackle "emerging environmental challenges, including river cleaning, management of wastes, hazardous substance and plastics management, dealing with chemical contamination, monitoring compliance with environmental clearances, etc."
The paper suggest three dimensional changes in the existing policy of environmental law and regulation; the legislation and policy making remaining with the Ministry of Environment and Forests; regulation, monitoring and enforcement action being the responsibility of the proposed National Environmental Protection Authority; and the adjudication of disputes thereto being made by the proposed National Green Tribunal.
The role of the Protection Authority has been discussed in quiet detail in the paper. Have a look at the proposal and may be even send your opinion to the Ministry.