NGT asks MoEF to clarify stand on banning charcoal as fuel

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NGT asks MoEF to clarify stand on banning charcoal as fuel

New Delhi, May 3 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to “file a clear statement” on a plea seeking a ban on the use of charcoal as fuel in industries.

A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim and Expert Member Nagin Nanda directed the Environment Ministry to make a “categoric statement” within two weeks.

The MoEF counsel told the tribunal that it had engaged the Institute of Forest Management to conduct a detailed study on the issue.

“We direct the MoEF to file a clear statement spelling out its own stand with regard to the principal prayer. They may use the findings of the study in the report but they must take a independent decision with regard to the feasibility of banning of charcoal as a fuel in industries,” the bench said.

The matter is now posted for hearing on May 22.

The Indian Institute of Sustainable Development had filed a plea alleging that trees were being indiscriminately cut for use as charcoal.

The NGO had also sought a ban on the use of charcoal as a fuel or raw material in industries across the country.

Noting that the indiscriminate and illegal felling of trees would lead to environmental disaster, the NGT had earlier imposed a ban on the cutting of trees without clearance from “appropriate authorities”.

“There shall be an order of injunction against companies/authorities from illegally cutting trees in the forest areas in the whole of country to be used for charcoal without obtaining environmental/forest clearance or permission from appropriate authorities,” the bench had said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.