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Call for tribunal expansion

Judges of the National Green Tribunal and Calcutta High Court called for the expansion of the tribunal at the inauguration of its eastern zonal bench in Calcutta on Saturday.

The bench for eastern India — which covers Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Sikkim, the seven north-eastern states and the Andamans — will function from New Town’s finance hub.

“The National Green Tribunal must reach every state and town,” said tribunal chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar, pointing out that it would be difficult for people from remotest areas to come to Calcutta to file cases.

“Far-flung areas like the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and remote areas of the north-eastern states, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha should have a circuit bench of the tribunal so environment of these areas is taken care of,” said high court Chief Justice Arun Mishra.

Chief secretary Sanjay Mitra promised all help in making the eastern bench a success. Justice Kumar pointed out that there had been a 280 per cent rise in filing of cases with the tribunal in 2013, compared with the year before. “Disposal of cases has increased by 200 per cent,” he said.