The National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi, vide its order dated 23.08.2018 passed in OA No. 116/2014 in re: Meera Shukla versus Municipal Corporation, Gorakhpur constituted four committees for monitoring of pollution in Uttar Pradesh. One of the said committees has been formed under the Chairmanship of Hon'ble Mr. Justice D.P.Singh, Former Judge, Allahabad High Court. The Committee started functioning from September, 2018 and has been named as Eastern U.P. Rivers and Water Reservoirs Monitoring Committee.

BACKGROUND

The importance of nature has been recognized and emphasized in the holy texts across religions since time immemorial. In many religions, trees, animals and even non-living objects are worshipped highlighting the importance of each of them. They were related with each other. With our avidness, development and material prosperity, we have recklessly exploited the natural sources without caring the environment. Activities like deforestation, water and air pollution and over exploitation of natural resources have brought us to the brink of disaster. Environment means the surrounding external conditions influencing development or growth of people, animal or plants, living or working conditions, etc. Environment includes surrounding conditions and circumstances affecting people's life and it includes temperature, wind, water, etc. Environment can be defined as sum total of all conditions and influences that affect the development and life of organisms.It includes abiotic or non-living conditions, such as atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. The second component is biotic or the living component consisting of flora and fauna including human beings. The biotic and abiotic components together form the biosphere which refers to the realm of living organisms and their interaction with the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. Allen Gilpin has said, "From a scientific point of view, environment is taken to mean everything that is physically external to the organism; organism includes human beings." Maurice F.Strong, the Under Secretary General of the United Nations in a conference of human environment observed, "In the human environment, it is necessary to include all elements, both natural and man-made. It embraces urban and rural property as well as the dangers of atmospheric pollution from automobiles and factories. It includes the discovery and development of natural resources as well as the efficient and wasteful use of presently exploited resources. It covers air, water and soil." India has an ancient tradition of protecting the environment. In Kautilya'sArthshashtra, great importance has been laid on environment protection and clear punishments have been prescribed on the basis of the importance of various parts of a particular tree. Manusmriti mentions about the optimum use of the resources of nature. In Hinduism, we find that Vedas, Upnishads and other ancient books of Hindu religion have given great importance to trees, plants and wild lives. In Rigved, it has been mentioned that there are five elements which given basis to life and these elements are-earth, water, fire, space and air. The Rig Ved makes a clear reference to the presence of a protective layer, which we know now to be the ozone layer that filters the harmful rays of the Sun and protects the earth. The holy Quran mentions the significance of purity of water. Islamic jurisprudence contains regulations concerning the conservation and allocation of scarce water resources. In ancient India, Chanakya has emphasized on importance of environment protection. The State was required to maintain forests and fines were imposed for cutting trees. The survival of mankind on earth has been threatened due to the increase in scale and complexity of environmental issues. Many of the environmental issues, like acid rain, global warming, ozone depletion, loss of bio-diversity etc are not limited to national boundaries but are of international concern and need to be addressed at the international level. Indian is the second most populated country in the world. As a result, there is immense pressure on the existing natural resources, which has led to a drastic increase in the levels of all forms of pollution. Pollution means the release of substances which are capable of causing harm to human or any other living organism supported by the environment. Air and water pollutions are the main common forms of environmental pollution. Except these, there are soil, noise, radio-active pollutions too.

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