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Posted at: Sep 26, 2015, 2:16 AM; last updated: Sep 26, 2015, 1:40 AM (IST)SUKHNA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

UT to take up ESZ issue with Centre

Camelot may benefit

  • If the ESZ area is reduced to 100 metre, as proposed by Punjab, the Tata Camelot housing project stands a chance to get all clearances, say experts.
  • The Tata project site is merely 123 metre towards the north of the sanctuary and 183 metre on its eastern side.
  • These are the 2011 findings of a team of the Union Environment Ministry.
  • The Tribune had, through a series of reports, highlighted how the housing project could affect the wildlife sanctuary due to air, noise and water pollution.

Rajinder Nagarkoti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25

As the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana are yet to reply to the letter written by the Punjab and Haryana Governor-cum-UT Administrator, Kaptan Singh Solanki, for declaring an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, the UT Administration has now decided to take up the issue with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

A senior UT official said as there was a cold response of neighbouring states, they would now take up the issue with the ministry.

Solanki had written a letter to Punjab and Haryana after the MoEF had “prima facie” found merit in the recommendations of the Chandigarh Administration for declaring an ESZ around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.

Prakash Javadekar, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, had written a letter to Solanki asking him to discuss the recommendation of the UT Administration with the neighbouring states so that adequate area around the ESZ in Punjab could be notified.

The Punjab Government had proposed an ESZ within a 100-metre radius around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary whereas the UT Administration wanted it to be at least 1 km or up to 2.5 km. Haryana was yet to propose the radius for the ESZ.

The Union Environment Minister’s letter reads: “The Union Territory of Chandigarh (vide a letter dated July 25, 2014) informed that this limit (Punjab’s limit) of 100 metre is very less, particularly when areas adjoining the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary in Punjab are being developed as high-density areas in Nayagaon.”

What Punjab proposed

The Punjab government, in its letter to the Union Environment Ministry, recommended that the eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary’s boundary should be 100 metres in radius.

What UT Admn wants

The UT Administration proposed that the ESZ should be in the range of at least one km or up to 2.75 km around the sanctuary.

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