Youth Mission for Clean River-Arunachal Pradesh (YMCR-AP) has written to state water resources minister Mama Natung to set up a nodal agency for identification, protection and restoration of water bodies in the state in line with NGT directive.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed all states and Union territories to designate nodal agencies for the restoration of water bodies within their respective jurisdictions under the chief secretaries.

YMCR-AP is an Itanagar-based NGO working for river and environment conservation.

SD Loda, chairman of YMCR-AP, said: “Timely intervention of the state government will enable the concerned authorities to meet the NGT deadline of holding the nodal agency’s meeting before January 31, 2021, to take stock of the situation and plan further steps.”

The district authorities are directed to take further course of action up to Panchayat levels and evolve further monitoring mechanism as well as Grievance Redressal Mechanism.

The authorities have been asked to submit the periodical reports to the CPCB/Secretary Jal Shakti Government of India before February 28, 2021.

Highlighting the NGT verdict, Loda said the NGT in its November 22 ruling while hearing the petition filed by Lt Col Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi had stated that ‘Under the Public Trust Doctrine, the state has to act as trustee of the water bodies to protect them for the public use and enjoyment for current and future generations’.

The ruling makes the state government and its allied department responsible to monitor the steps for the restoration of water bodies by all the states periodically at least thrice in a year, Loda said.

The river justice group has urged the minister to take decisive action on the problem of river pollution which is leading to its depletion.

“Rivers, forests, minerals and such other resources constitute a nation’s natural wealth. These resources are not to be frittered away and exhausted by any one generation,” Loda said in its representation to Arunachal Pradesh water resources minister Mama Natung.

“Every generation owes a duty to all succeeding generations to develop and conserve the natural resources of the nation in the best possible way. It is in the interest of mankind. It is in the interest of the nation. They maintain a delicate ecological balance.”

“They need to be protected for a proper and healthy environment which enables people to enjoy a quality life which is the essence of the guaranteed right under Article 21 of the Constitution,” Loda further said in the representation.

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