2016 saw the National Green Tribunal drive India’s green agenda by delivering landmark judgments that would profoundly change environmental regulation. Here are a few of its verdicts that set precedents for radical change in the way we look at our ecological management. These verdicts have given hope to activists fighting lone battles against government or private companies and would encourage many to bring to light critical issues.
Old diesel vehicles
About 15 years ago, when the courts were pressuring the government to switch buses to CNG from diesel, there was no dearth of nay-sayers who found it impractical and impossible to implement. In 2016, when NGT pushed for removal of old, polluting diesel vehicles from roads in the National Capital Region and a few cities, the resistance from the status-quoists was not as stiff. This can prove to be the biggest step in rescuing Delhi from choking pollution that has forced people to wear masks. It will also give us an appetite for sudden reformist steps which are broadly feared as apocalyptic for their impact on economy. NGT’s order limiting vehicles and commercial enterprises in the eco-sensitive Rohtang Pass, which faced furious opposition from several quarters last year, resulted in a cleaner glacier in 2016. Hopefully, Delhi air will also get cleaner soon. Read More…
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