Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding District Environment Plans, 17/01/2023

  • 17/01/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Shree Nath Sharma Vs Union of India & Others dated 17/01/2023.

The order was passed in continuation of the earlier NGT order, February 8, 2022 on the subject of updating and enforcing District Environment Plans "in terms of Articles 243 G, 243 W, 243 ZD, read with 11th and 12th Schedules to the Constitution of India".

Direction for preparing such a plan was first issued by the court, July 15, 2019.

The report of the Central Pollution Control Board Monitoring Committee, October 10, 2022 informed the court about the steps taken  for preparation of plans and the way forward. With regard to preparation of District Environment Plans (DEP) - it was stated that out of 738 districts, plans have been prepared for 640 districts. In 98 districts, plans are yet to be prepared.

The NGT, January 17, 2022 after going through the reports expressed satisfaction and said that further action needs to be taken by the concerned states and Union Territories in the light of observations and recommendations mentioned in the CPCB monitoring committee report.

The District Environment plans must contain all relevant data on different thematic subjects, covering each city, town and village, with identified gaps in compliances and set out plan for remedial action in measurable terms with requisite budgetary support to meet estimated cost. The District Plans as on 31st December of the year must be finalized with respect to the remaining 98 districts expeditiously, preferably within three months. CPCB should follow up with concerned states.

Progress in implementation of the plan be placed on the website by 31st January every year. Likewise, State Environment Plan, taking into account District Environment Plans or any other relevant data may be finalized by 28th February every year and placed on respective State websites. The CPCB would thereafter in coordination with any other ministry or authority prepare a consolidated plan based on State Environmental Plans by 31st March every year and place the same on its website. Consolidated national plan may also be filed with the Registrar General of the Tribunal by April 30 every year. The Court directed that District, State and National Environmental plans be prepared and updated on continuous basis annually. 

These were some of the main highlights of the 103 page NGT order.