Bill for environment agency in monsoon session

"NEPA will be a statutory body truly autonomous of the environment ministry. It will ensure monitoring and compliance of environment laws, which is not being done as of now," Ramesh told reporters here. He was speaking at a conference on 'Environment Audit: Concerns About Water Pollution' organised by the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

According to Ramesh, NEPA will also handle the licensing work of providing no-objection certificates to applicants seeking environmental clearance. It is envisaged that NEPA will have specialists from areas of physical sciences, life sciences, engineering, law, environmental economics, public health and environmental planning and management.

"This will adequately equip the authority for taking various measures for protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution," he said. Speaking on the Green Tribunal Bill, which was to be discussed in the Lok Sabha before the house was adjourned til April 12, Ramesh said: "It is a major step forward as for the first time it will provide judicial remedy for non-implementation of environmental laws."

"India will be the first country in the world to have specialised environmental courts for providing civil damages to people, NGOs and states following non-implementation of various environmental acts," he added.

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