The NGT Bench inaugurated merely 18 months ago at Kochi has been shut down permanently after its functioning stopped on November 10, 2017. Set up on the demand of the environmentalists after receiving number of petitions, the bench was opened in order to address the need of protection and conservation of environment. The Bench closed down owing to the lack of judicial machinery to conduct the proceedings.
With merely a handful of cases some of which had been transferred from the Chennai Bench of NGT and relatively fewer number of proceedings caused people to lose faith resulting in cessation of filing complaints with the judicial framework. As a consequence therefrom the Kochi Bench of NGT became practically non-functional. With the closure of the NGT Bench at Kochi the matters have been transferred to the Chennai Bench of the NGT.
The incorporation of the NGT is indicative of the sincerity that the legislature requires towards safeguarding the environment. The NGT Act, 2010 aims for conservation of the forests and other natural resources and works for enforcement of legal rights towards environment and providing relief and compensation for damages incidental thereto.
In the era of increasing damage being done to the environment, NGT Benches act as the ray of hope which ensure that strict compliance be made towards in the endeavor to preserve earth. Efforts should be made to establish more such institutions which help in providing better environmental governance. The shutting down of the NGT Bench at Kochi comes as a huge disappointment for the environmental enthusiasts as it increases the distant path for justice.