NGT orders States, UTs to appoint nodal agency to protect water bodies
The Tribunal has further ordered that under the supervision of Chief Secretaries of States/UTs, the nodal agency must hold its meeting not later than January 31, 2021.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed all the states and Union Territories to designate a nodal agency for the protection of water bodies in the region while noting that adequate steps to protect water bodies have not been taken.
The Tribunal has further ordered that under the supervision of Chief Secretaries of States/UTs, the nodal agency must hold its meeting not later than January 31, 2021. Under this, the agency will take the stock of the situation and for planning further steps which will include the directions to district authorities for further course of action.
NGT’s direction to States and UTs:
The bench headed by Justice AK Goel, NGT Chairperson stated that under the Public Trust Doctrine, the state must act as trustee of water bodies for protecting them for public use and enjoyment for future and current generations.
NGT has asked the Central Monitoring Committee, constituted for monitoring the restitution of 351 pollution river stretches, for monitoring the steps water bodies restoration by all the states periodically, at least 3 times a year. First such monitoring can take place by March 31, 2021.
Petition to restore Ghata Lake in Gurgaon:
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has been hearing a plea filed by petitioner Haryana resident seeking to restore the Ghata Lake in Gurgaon besides restoration of other 214 natural channels and water bodies in the district and similar water bodies of Ghaziabad.
The Tribunal has also expanded the scope of the petition to the entire country for the protection of the environment.