Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 6
Encroachments in the catchment area of Sukhna Lake will be strictly dealt with as the Chandigarh Administration has started the process to declare the lake a wetland under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, notified by the Centre.
The rules have strict provisions to protect the wetland. The decision to declare Sukhna Lake as a wetland is likely to be approved at the first meeting of the Chandigarh Wetland Authority, constituted recently by the Administration.
The authority has been formed under the chairmanship of the UT Administrator. The committee has 15 members. The Adviser to the Administrator has been appointed the vice-chairman of the authority. An officer of the Administration said once Sukhna Lake was notified as a wetland, several activities would be prohibited within the wetland, including encroachment of any kind, setting up of any industry and expansion of the existing industries, manufacture or handling or storage or disposal of construction and demolition waste covered under the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016, and hazardous substances covered under the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989, or the Rules for Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Micro-organisms Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989, or the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Trans-Boundary Movement) Rules, 2008, electronic waste covered under the e-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, solid waste dumping, discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities, towns, villages and other human settlements and any construction of a permanent nature within 50 metres of the wetland.
Sukhna Lake is facing a threat to its existence from encroachments in its catchment area and pollution caused by discharge of sewage from nearby areas. An officer of the Administration said offenders would face action. The lake is a haven for migratory birds. Poaching in the wetland area will also invite strict action. The authority will also form technical and grievance committees.
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