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Chief Minister launches green tribunal’s western zone bench

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan inaugurated the western zone bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Sunday

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
August 26, 2013 1:40:06 am

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan inaugurated the western zone bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Sunday.

Speaking at the event,he said there was a need to strike a balance between environment protection and industrial development.

Expecting that the Bench will play a pivotal role in minimising the “conflict” between ecology conservation and economic growth,he said,“The Madhav Gadgil Committee report on Western Ghats has recommended to stop all the industrial development in the Konkan region. If it is implemented in entirety,no industrial unit can be established in the region. Do we want the youngsters in Konkan to remain unemployed? Can we keep the entire region wanting for progress? Do we want the region to regress to the era of 1800s?,” asked Chavan.

Chavan said environmental damage is a big challenge. “We have seen its manifestation in the recent floods in Uttarakhand and in incidents of cloud bursts in Vidarbha region. Most of our rivers are completely dry in two of the three seasons. The balance cannot lean towards development alone nor can we allow unchecked exploitation of environment,” said Chavan.

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The bench has been constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to exclusively deal with environmental issues in Maharashtra,Gujarat,Goa and Union Territories Daman,Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The tribunal will operate from its first floor office at the new administrative building near Council Hall in Pune.

NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said that three existing benches of the tribunal in Delhi,Chennai and Bhopal were functioning efficiently and hoped that the newly set up Pune bench will help in fast-tracking matters pertaining to western Maharashtra.

“The rate of disposal of cases at NGT is really good. No case is pending beyond 6 months at any of the benches,” said Kumar.

Bombay High Court Chief Justice Mohit Shah,said,“Performance of these regulatory bodies is dismal. Governments often give step-motherly treatment to the state regulatory bodies such as pollution control boards. This needs to change,” said Shah.

BJP activists block CM’s convoy,detained

Over 75 activists of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were detained by Chatushrungi police for over an hours after they blocked Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s

convoy heading towards Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (Yashada). Police said the protesters staged a demonstration seeking immediate action in the recent Mumbai gangrape case. Police said activists and leaders including Pankaja Munde Palve,Madhuri Misal and Anil Shirole were detained. Inspector (Crime) Subhash Nikam,said,“As the activists started blocking the way of the convoy,we detained them.”

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