Data source
Date of text
14 Dec 2011
Seat of court
New Delhi
Original language


Type of text
Reference number
Court name
National Green Tribunal
Kumar Agrawal, D.
Venkata Ramulu, C.
Access to justice, constitutional law, forest conservation, forest management, spatial planning, standing to sue

This judgement, in the appeal filed against the Forest Clearance (FC) approving the diversion of 80.507 ha of Government forest land for construction of 65m high diversion dam across river Alaknanda near village Helong in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand State for the purpose of generating hydroelectricity, expanded the meaning of “person aggrieved” and held that protecting and improving the natural environment is the fundamental duty of a citizen under the Constitution of India and therefore any person can approach the Tribunal and agitate his grievance as to protection and improvement of the natural environment.
The Tribunal held that under the Preamble and Section 20 of the NGT Act, the Tribunal has got vast jurisdiction to decide the environmental disputes such as enforcement of legal rights relating to environment, compensation, damages to persons and property, and matters connected therewith and incidental thereto including conservation of natural resources.
The Tribunal after hearing both the parties concluded that there are no substantial merits calling for interference into the FC in question and disposed of the appeal with the following direction to the MoEF I. To setup an appropriate committee of experts drawn from Indian Institute of Technology, Rourkee (IITR) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in the preparation of Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) report of the five projects considered in WII report to integrate the physical, biological and social impacts in making comprehensive cumulative impact assessment report and frame appropriate conclusions and recommendations within a reasonable timeframe for consideration and final review by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to avoid any unforeseen environmental and ecological threat in the study area- II To ensure sound evaluation of forestland diversion proposals MoEF was asked to prepare the guidelines for cost benefit analysis, may be updated/modified to provide clear instructions regarding the various cost and benefit elements to be incorporated for the purpose of arriving at cost benefit ratio and applications for Forest Diversion will be done following the prescribed procedure.