National Green Tribunal to have more benches

New Delhi: Seeking to allay apprehensions of members over the delay in constitution of the National Green Tribunal, the government on Tuesday said it was putting in place a "strong system" so that the credibility of the body is maintained from the very beginning.

"Give NGT a chance to function. Even before the tribunal has taken off, it is premature to write it off.We have to go through procedural formalities.We have to put in place a system so that the credibility of the NGT is maintained from the very beginning," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in the Rajya Sabha.

He said the government would strive to expand NGT if its initial experience of having five benches in the country showed the desired results.

"Five benches is not enough. As we gain experience we will expand NGT.May be every state will have an NGT (in future)," Ramesh said.

Responding to a question by Moinul Hassan (CPI-M) as to whether the NGT, which replaced the National Environment Appellate Authority, remains non-functional and if there was any alternative platform, the minister said the process of selection and appointment of judicial and expert members of NGT has been initiated.

"A sitting judge had been made selection committee chairman and the first phase of selection has been completed," he said.