ITANAGAR, Nov 25: The Youth Mission for Clean River-Arunachal Pradesh (YMCR-AP) has written to Environment & Forest, Water Resource Department Minister Mama Natung to set up a nodal agency for the state for the identification, protection and restoration of water bodies in the state in line with the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) directive for all states and union territories to designate nodal agencies for the restoration of water bodies within their respective jurisdictions under the chief secretaries.
“Timely intervention of the state government will enable the concerned authorities to meet the NGT deadline of holding the nodal agency’s meeting before 31 January 2021 to take stock of the situation and plan further steps, including directions to district authorities for further course of action up to Panchayat levels and to evolve further monitoring mechanism as well as grievance redressal mechanism and submit the periodical reports to the CPCB/ secretary Jal Shakti Government of India before 28 February, 2021,” YMCR chairman SD Loda said.
Highlighting the NGT verdict, Loda said the NGT in its 22 November ruling while hearing the petition filed by Lt Col Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi had stated that “Under the Public Trust Doctrine, the state has to act as trustee of the water bodies to protect them for public use and enjoyment for current and future generations,” which makes the state government and its allied department responsible to monitor the steps for the restoration of water bodies by all the states periodically, at least thrice in a year.
The river justice group has urged the minister to take decisive action on the problem of river pollution which is leading to its depletion.
“Rivers, Forests, Minerals and such other resources constitute a nation’s natural wealth. These resources are not to be frittered away and exhausted by any one generation. Every generation owes a duty to all succeeding generations to develop and conserve the natural resources of the nation in the best possible way. It is in the interest of mankind. It is in the interest of the nation. They maintain delicate ecological balance. They need to be protected for a proper and healthy environment which enables people to enjoy a quality life which is the essence of the guaranteed right under Article 21 of the Constitution,” Loda further said in the representation.