ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

National Green TribunalSubscribe to National Green Tribunal

The Structural Problems of Rat-Hole Mining in Meghalaya

Despite a ban on rat-hole mining in Meghalaya from 2014, the profitability of the industry has meant that no real efforts are being made to implement the ban effectively.

Will the 2018 NGT Order Lead to Improvement in River Water Quality?

On 20 September 2018, the National Green Tribunal ordered all states and union territories to prepare action plans within the next two months for restoring the quality of polluted river stretches to at least “bathing standards” within six months of the finalisation of the plans. However, making of the action plans alone is not likely to lead to an improvement in the river water quality.

Goa’s Shifting Greens and Its Long History of Environmentalism

Moving the National Green Tribunal from Pune to New Delhi, for Goa, would have had severe implications for reshaping the reality of who could seek redressal over environmental concerns in Goa, at what cost, and how frequently.

Public Hearings in Environmental Clearance Process

A public hearing is the only medium in the environmental clearance process through which people can interact directly with government officials and the project proponents regarding project-related concerns. The relevance of public hearings—underlining principles of “democratic participatory governance,” “sustainable development” and “natural justice” for people—can never be undermined. However, this single procedural step is at the centre of so many legal disputes in the Indian courts (Supreme Court and high courts), and the National Green Tribunal had to repeatedly step in and clarify its importance in public policy and the environmental clearance process. This article reviews a series of judicial and quasi-judicial decisions on the question of the public hearing process in India.

Sustainable Development as Environmental Justice

The principle of sustainable development has evolved to occupy centrality in environmental jurisprudence in India. The Supreme Court has reiterated its importance in the country's environmental legal regime. However, the jurisprudence has been criticised for framing it as a zero sum game where economic development has been repeatedly used as a justification to trump environmental violations, and therefore, rendering it as only declaratory and lacking in content and sufficient teeth to shape public action. But this has compelled policy and statutory recognition of the principle of sustainable development. The National Green Tribunal Act of 2010 recognises it too. This statutory recognition has paved the way for a robust jurisprudence spearheaded by the NGT that has actively sought to evolve a standard of review for public actions in effectuating the principle of sustainable development and in doing so has departed from the reductionist utilitarianism that had characterised the jurisprudence of Supreme Court.

Decentralising Environmental Justice

Many consider that the National Green Tribunal, a relatively centralised and specialised court, set up in 2011 for “effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection”, is a misfit for a vast country like India, due to its inaccessibility to the majority of people.
Back to Top