"We are in the process of setting up a Bench in east zone which will be based in Kolkata to try cases from West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and eight northeastern states besides Andaman and Nicobar Islands," NGT expert member Ranjan Chatterjee said.
     
Chatterjee was addressing an advocacy workshop organized at the secretariat's Yojana Bhavan here which was attended by environmentalists, environment scientists and state government officials.
    
Talking about the function of NGT, he highlighted the role of the Tribunal as a fast track court and said, "The tribunal itself is a special fast-track court to handle the expeditious disposal of cases pertaining to environmental issues and all those subjects which falls under Schedule 1."
    
He said the Tribunal was also set up for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
     
Stating that having such a system is to reduce the burden litigation in the higher courts, the former IAS officer said, "The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6–8 months of filing of the same."
    
Initially, the NGT was proposed to be set up at five places and will follow circuit procedure for making itself more accessible.
    
New Delhi hosts the principal bench of the Tribunal besides Bhopal, Pune, and Chennai a two-member Bench has already been set up.

(Agencies)

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