By M.C. Linthoingambee
Population, pollution and so on are some of the common problems which has had dogged the paths of our ancestors and which will one day pass on to the days of our grandchildren. This is why it is imperative and almost a basic necessity to preserve and uphold what we have left in existence of the Green Boulevards. Where I come from is a place famously renowned as the ‘Switzerland of India’ by President Jawaharlal Nehru on his visits, but humanity has done its fair share of bringing nature to a mere grave over the years and more. No one person is to be pinned with all the blame but the fact is that the ravages on nature and its resources have reached a point where laws have been set out to better the landscape and give Mother Nature a safety net.
First up, displaying and on looking the Constitution of India, we see the fundamentals of Environmental Laws and Regulations in the picture with roots of various articles necessitating the role of a State to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country in Article 48-A. Well this narration stands tall with the several Municipal Corporations in all the States of the Country working towards the common goal which is, keeping earth safe with their small acts. On the other hand, Article 51-A (g) offers a wider perception on the citizens by stating the following: “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.” Amidst the engraved narrations stated above, there are also certain priorities set for in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution withholding several authorities of both the Central and State Governments to make necessary laws in regards to industries, development of oil fields and mineral oil resources, regulation of mine and mineral developments, fishing beyond and around territorial waters, public health and sanitation, agriculture, forests, protection of wild animals and birds, economic and social planning and henceforth as provided by the Constitution.
Providing further safekeeping to the slowly destructing places, a fair share of antiquity in the form of legislative is also provide for. Our Indian Legislature has also thus embarked upon many roles in developing some of the effective machinery in dealing with the outcomes by coming up several acts and endorsing upon then ides of controlling air pollution, preserving water, dealing in hazardous waste, wildlife control and as follows. Today, the principle Environmental Regulatory Agency in India functioning vividly over the years is the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) thereby formulating environmental policies and according environmental clearance for various projects undertaken by the Government or the designated authorities. The State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) accords ‘No Objection Certificate (NOC)’ and ‘Consent for Establishment and Operation’ for the projects as based upon reliable sources.
Needles to say that in spite of its legislative diary, the enforcement are still deemed unsatisfactory. There have been indefinite numbers of face-off between corporate houses and locals of areas where they seek to buy lands on use to set up nuclear plants and several other industrial houses. Judicial interventions are common occurrences in these happenings although the one with more power often manages to outlive the environmental damages and come up with the winning trophy.
Dealing with Locals
While we take a walk or tour of the bazaar and its surroundings, it is almost impossible to pass through without experiencing the dust, variant amount of smells and not to mention the poor management of the sanitary requirements, it is indeed a task to make people understand that what they throw or waste will rot a portion of our world. But, how do we let them know? Perhaps, an ordinance imposing fines to whoever disrupts the well being of the environment? This is just a personal bearing or a wish. Maybe one day the street vendors, shop vendors, the locals and the like will stop making rivers into garbage dumps in this manner. The once vibrant Naga River in the Nagamapal stretch for one is one of the living examples of long term inaction and neglect. But we never learn, do we? We can only keep our fingers crossed and see if anybody would make a difference to this tale.
(M.C. Linthoingambee is an undergraduate pursuing B.Com. LL.B(H). An avid blogger, poet, a seasonal artist and a foodie, she is also a life member to the Indian Society of the Red Cross.)