Visit Meenakshi temple to study ozone layer: NGT to MoEF

Visit Meenakshi temple to study ozone layer: NGT to MoEF

Visit Meenakshi temple to study ozone layer: NGT to MoEF

 The National Green Tribunal today rapped the Ministry of Environment and Forests for suggesting that ozone depletion is an international issue and asked its officials to visit Meenakshi Temple in Madurai to learn that India was aware of the ozone layer more than 700 years ago.

"Do you have any idea when did India became aware of the ozone layer and its significance? India was one of the first countries to know about the significance of ozone layer and the proof can be found in the more than 700 years old 'Bhugol Chakra' at the Meenakshi Temple," a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.

The green panel asked MoEF officials to visit the temple and check the "Bhugol Chakra" to know about the ozone layer which is a belt of naturally occurring ozone gas that sits 15 to 30 km above earth.

"You will find that even before 700 years, India was aware of the ozone layer. The 'Bhugol Chakra' has mentioned the significance of ozone and the ways how to protect it," the panel said.

The bench reserved its verdict on a plea alleging that unregulated emission and availability of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) easily in India is the main source for the depletion of ozone layer resulting in global warming.

Advocate M C Mehta, appearing for the petitioner, alleged that HFC is available in the market easily due to smuggling and it is damaging the ozone layer of the atmosphere.
The MoEF contended that HFC is not the only cause for ozone layer depletion and several other reasons are responsible for its deterioration.

It said that ozone depletion is an international issue and several researches has suggested that HFC only causes minimal damage to the environmental layer which serves as a shield from the harmful ultraviolet B radiation emitted by the sun.

Ozone layer is said to be deteriorating due to the release of pollution containing the chemicals chlorine and bromine and its depletion allows large amounts of ultraviolet B rays to reach earth, which can cause skin cancer and cataracts in humans and harm animals as well.

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