New Delhi, July 4
The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday asked the Centre and others to respond to a plea seeking demolition of illegal and unauthorised structures within 10 km radius of the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary in Chandigarh.
A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), Chandigarh administration, Punjab and Haryana government and others while seeking their reply in two weeks.
The green panel, however, made it clear that it would first hear arguments on the maintainability of the plea.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by 35-year-old Mohali resident Taruni Gandhi seeking directions to stop the construction of projects falling within the 10 km radius of Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary as they lacked clearance from the National Board for Wildlife.
It claimed that around 26 major construction projects like malls, townships, apartments, which are situated within 10 km of the Sukhna wildlife sanctuary, have not taken clearance from NBWL.
The plea, filed through advocate Gaurav Bansal, has sought directions not to issue completion certificate to the projects within the eco-sensitive Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.
Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich variety of flora and fauna and is known to have the most number of Sambar deer found in a group or cluster than anywhere else in the country.
It is also home to a large number of birds and reptiles, including jungle fowl and various sparrows, besides a variety of trees, shrubs, herbs and grass.
Recently, the Delhi High Court had held that Tata Camelot Housing Project cannot be allowed as it was well within the catchment area of the Sukhna Lake.
The High Court had set aside the permission for the project, which was granted by the gram panchayat of Sukhna catchment area village and endorsed by the Punjab government.
It had also quashed environmental clearances given by the concerned authorities for the project. — PTI
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