The National Green Tribunal has rapped the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for the delay in finalising a detailed status report on Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for 13 states and union territories and granted it the final opportunity to submit it in 10 days.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said the matter assumed great significance as it relates to the entire coastal area of the country.
"The counsel...appearing for the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change submits that they have not been able to get complete instructions and therefore could not file proper affidavit in relation to compliance of the orders of the tribunal.
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"They pray for further time. We find no reason whatsoever to accept the request. However, as this matter has a great significance relating to entire coastal area falling in 13 states, we grant final opportunity to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to file complete status report, by way of affidavit including clearance from Survey of India and security from Ministry of Defence," the bench said.
The green panel directed the Environment Ministry to file the status report within 10 days and posted the matter for next hearing on October 4.
The NGT had earlier said the authorities were primarily shuffling the blame between the states and the Centre, with the execution of the direction being "kept in abeyance" without any justifiable reason.
The direction came on a plea filed by one Mehdad and others seeking expeditious framing of CZMP for different states and UTs such as Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu.
Coastal zone management involves managing the coastal areas to balance environmental, economic, human health and related activities.
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