Pune: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), in a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by environmental activists and NGOs of the city, has admitted that it had not issued any notification or order to state governments (SGs) to make them aware of India’s legally binding commitments to arresting climate change.
According to Vaishali Patkar, Convenor of Area Sabha Association of Pune Members (ASAP), they, along with other activists and NGOs, had written an email to the cabinet secretary of the State government in March 2018 to find out if they were implementing the laws on climate change. They waited for two months, but there was no reply from the cabinet secretary. Hence, they had to file the RTI query. Shockingly, they got to know that the MoEFCC had not issued any notification on implementing the climate change laws.
To discuss this issue, a meet was organised at Indradhanush Hall, Dattawadi, on July 14, where NGOs including Jeevit Nadi, ASAP, Bhujal Abhiyaan and Vruksham and Samuchit Enviro Tech had participated.
The meet focused mainly on suggestions and points on climate change laws and how to proceed to pressurise the government to implement these laws and regulations.
Giving details, Anupam Saraph, a member of ASAP, said, “It was shocking when we received the reply to the RTI query. But we will urge the government to implement the laws made on environmental safety and climate change.”
Saraph said, “We have to reduce the usage of things, which are proving harmful to the environment. Also, before any project is initiated, we have to check if the parameters related to environmental safety are working at its full capacity or not. There is no point in requesting municipal corporations to implement the law. We have to directly hit the SG to do it. Local level work should continue. Now, the time has come to hit the government and tell them what is going wrong in the system,”
Patkar said, “Now, the move will not be limited to the city. But we are going to write to our friends and colleagues outside Pune and across India to support the cause. Based on their reactions, we are going to write again to the cabinet secretary. This will have more impact as the people’s participation will increase not only from the city but also from neighbouring countries,”
Ravindra Sinha from Bhujbal Abhiyaan said, “Along with the government, scientists should also be involved, as they could come out with technologies, which would help the government to decide on prevention of environmental damage.”