India is a victim of climate change, said Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson of National Green Tribunal (NGT) Saturday. While addressing an international conference at the Gujarat Law Society, the NGT Chairperson said India is not responsible for climate change, rather we are victims.
“Though the world pollution index is prepared by some people where they place India to be very high in pollution. But let me tell you, they use only some parameters; not all the parameters. It not that India is the most polluting. Most of the pollution is coming from outside India. The world itself is polluting. We are not responsible for climate change which is happening, rather we are victims,” said Justice Goel who was a chief guest at a conference on Green Justice: Contemporary Challenges of Environment and Sustainable Development.
Talking about plastic pollution in coastal areas of the country, the head of NGT said, “We discussed with the officials of Andaman and Nicobar (Islands) regarding the coastal pollution. It is not in our hands. Coastal pollution is coming from other countries. Plastic bottles having names of different countries are coming to Andaman.”
He said countries with 10 per cent of the population of the world have already declared “climate emergency” to create awareness among the local population. Judge of Allahabad High Court Justice Kaushal Thaker, who is an alumni of GLS, and Satya S Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of New York office, were also present at the inaugural session.
Talking about waste management in India, Justice Goel said segregation of waste at doorstep and collection of the same is not enough. “Most of the garbage is bio-degradable… why is it not treated or disposed of? Because it is mixed with plastic or other non-biodegradable items which needs to be segregated. Our governments are not having the capacity to do it, they have not even privatised it. They give contracts for door-to-door collection. This is not enough.”
On the Pirana garbage dumping site in Ahmedabad, Justice Goel said, “The work at Pirana (to remove the dump) is going on since last 7-8 months very seriously. It is being monitored by the NGT and Gujarat government. I am told by them, that it did not cost them much,” adding that the government in return will get a land parcel in the heart of the city.
The Pirana dumpsite is spread over 80 acres. He said he will visit the Pirana site after the event. “They are proposing to remove it in the next 3-4 months,” Justice Goel said. He also suggested that the local body should be using the land for plantations.
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