Notify Eco-Sensitive Zone around Sukhna at the earliest: Chandigarh to Punjab, Haryana

Issue taken up at Northern Zonal Council meet

Notify Eco-Sensitive Zone around Sukhna at the earliest: Chandigarh to Punjab, Haryana

The UT Administration has taken up the issue of early declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary by the states of Haryana and Punjab during the 19th meeting of the Standing Committee of Northern Zonal Council in Shimla yesterday.

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4

The UT Administration has taken up the issue of early declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary by the states of Haryana and Punjab during the 19th meeting of the Standing Committee of Northern Zonal Council in Shimla yesterday.

Earlier also, the Administration had raised the issue with the Centre and the Haryana and Punjab governments for the declaration of the ESZ at the earliest.

Raising the issue at the meeting, which was organised by the Inter-State Council Secretariat, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, UT Adviser Dharam Pal said both governments had been requested to notify the ESZ in their areas at the earliest. If the declaration of the ESZ was delayed further, more encroachments and illegal constructions would take place and then it would be difficult for them to remove it.

“To preserve greenery around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, it is important to notify the ESZ as early as possible,” said the Adviser.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has already issued a notification on ESZ around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary for Chandigarh alone whereas the Punjab and Haryana governments have not declared such zones in their territories so far.

The UT Administration has been pushing for the declaration of the ESZ by Punjab and Haryana after it declared the area of 2 km to 2.75 km from the boundary of the sanctuary as the ESZ.

The UT Administration had already opposed the proposal of the Punjab Government to declare only 100 m from the boundary of the sanctuary as the ESZ on its side.

However, the Haryana Government had recently intended to declare 1 km to 1.5 km area as the ESZ and the government had sought suggestions and objections.

On September 17, 2015, the Ministry had issued draft notification for the sanctuary area that fell in Chandigarh and not for the areas that came under Punjab and Haryana. The UT Administration then urged the Ministry to issue a notification for the entire ESZ to protect the sanctuary, whose 90 per cent area fell in Punjab and Haryana. However on January 25, 2017, the Ministry had declared ESZ only for Chandigarh.

‘Delay will lead to more encroachments’

Raising the issue at the meeting, which was organised by the Inter-State Council Secretariat, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, UT Adviser Dharam Pal said both governments had been requested to notify the ESZ in their areas at the earliest. If the declaration of the ESZ was delayed further, more encroachments and illegal constructions would take place and then it would be difficult for them to remove it.

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