Draft on Sukhna as wetland out

CHANDIGARH: No permanent construction, except for boat jetties, will be allowed within 50 metres of the Sukhna’s mean high flood level observed in the past 10 years.

Draft on Sukhna as wetland out

These are some of the measures the UT Administration has proposed in a draft notification issued today to declare the lake a wetland in pursuance of the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, notified by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

editorial@tribune.com

Ramkrishan Upadhyay
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 21

No permanent construction, except for boat jetties, will be allowed within 50 metres of the Sukhna’s mean high flood level observed in the past 10 years. Besides, people will be prohibited from feeding fish and migratory birds at the lake.

These are some of the measures the UT Administration has proposed in a draft notification issued today to declare the lake a wetland in pursuance of the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, notified by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

Residents have been given two months to file their objections and suggestions on the draft notification.

The Wetlands Authority has already approved declaring the lake as a wetland and the part of catchment falling within the jurisdiction of the UT as a ‘zone of influence’.

The area of the wetland comprises 565 acres while part of the catchment area falling within the UT jurisdiction as zone of influence spreads over 7,185.824 acres. Of the total catchment area, hilly catchment area is 6,281.419 acres while 904.406 acres fall under agricultural use. The Administration has classified activities in three categories — prohibited, regulated and promoted —in the wetland as well as the zone of influence. 

The area from which rainwater flows into a river, lake or reservoir is called catchment. The prohibited activities in the catchment of the Sukhna wetland include setting up of saw mills, commercial use of firewood, new wood-based industry, hunting and release of untreated waste water. Besides, activities to be regulated in the catchment area are construction activities, introduction of exotic species, air (including noise) and vehicular pollution, eco-friendly cottages for temporary occupation of tourists such as tents, wooden houses, etc. for eco-friendly tourism activities and discharge of treated effluents.

The lake was constructed in 1958 across the Sukhna choe and formed an integral part of the Master Plan of the city prepared by French architect Le Corbusier and Chief Engineer PL Verma. The lake is located on the foothills of the Shivalik mountain range and thousands of migratory birds visit the waterbody every year.

Ajay Jagga, a social activist, said the lake was ecologically sensitive, very rich in biological diversity and needed adequate attention to maintain its ecological health.

Regulated activities 

Commercial establishment of hotels and resorts. No new commercial hotels  and resorts shall be permitted and the existing ones shall be maintained

Electrical and telecommunication towers, high tension transmission lines

Eco-tourism activity, felling of trees, use of plastic carry bags

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