You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Will govt create an all-India environment service, asks Supreme Court

The Times of India logo The Times of India 22-01-2022 Dhananjay Mahapatra
© Provided by The Times of India

New Delhi: Would the Centre create a dedicated all India environment management services (AIEMS) as per recommendations of a high level committee led by former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian, the Supreme Court asked on Friday, despite harbouring lurking doubts about its jurisdiction to enter into a highly opinionated thicket.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M M Sundresh sent notice to the Union government on a PIL by Samar Vijay Singh, who through senior advocate K Sultan Singh argued that the Subramanian Committee recommendations for establishment of National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and State EMA to monitor implementation of environmental protection measures in every project at ground level would go a long way in arresting the continuous assault on the environment and forests posing huge threat to the country.

Justice Kaul's initial reaction to the PIL - "Do we take over governance" - was mollified through a long discussion initiated by Justice Sundresh and finally the bench said "though it is doubtful whether any mandamus can be issued (by the Supreme Court), but we are inquiring whether the Centre has decided to accept the recommendations of the Subramanian Committee."

The counsel said the governments are not serious about protection of environment and that every single green jurisprudence and steps for protection of environment has emerged from the Supreme Court, which has over decades passed a series of orders and judgments in this regard.

The Subramanian committee, tasked to review Indian Forest Act, Wild Life (Protection) Act, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, Forest (Conservation) Act, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and Environment (Protection) Act, had submitted its report to the Union ministry of environment forest and climate change on November 18, 2014.

It had recommended single-window environmental clearance to A-category projects through NEMA and B-category projects through SEMA and suggested subsuming of Central Pollution Control Board and SPCBs with NEMA and SEMA respectively.

The Committee had also recommended establishment of a national research institute for environmental research, creation of a new All India Service relating to environmental management and setting up of an Environmental Reconstruction Fund.

However, In July 2015, a Parliamentary Standing Committee rejected a high-level committee (HLC) report that reviewed various Acts administered by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). The department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology chaired by Ashwani Kumar, that was reviewing the HLC report, has instead recommended that the government should constitute a new committee to review the laws.

More from The Times of India

The Times of India
The Times of India
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon