Assembly in Session: 1 km around Pong sanctuary declared eco-sensitive zone : The Tribune India

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Assembly in Session: 1 km around Pong sanctuary declared eco-sensitive zone

51 villages along wildlife sanctuary in Kangra district to be affected

Assembly in Session: 1 km around Pong sanctuary declared eco-sensitive zone

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has issued a draft notification declaring one-kilometre area from the boundaries of the Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary in Kangra district as an eco-sensitive zone.



Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, December 20

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has issued a draft notification declaring one-kilometre area from the boundaries of the Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary in Kangra district as an eco-sensitive zone. The government provided this information in response to a query of Independent MLA from Dehra Hoshiyar Singh.

No commercial activity allowed

  • Commercial activities like construction of hotels and resorts or any polluting industry will not be allowed in eco-sensitive zone
  • Setting up of electric or communication towers will be prohibited
  • The establishment of saw mills, brick-kilns or commercial use of firewood will be banned
  • Thousands of villages in Kangra will be affected if the notification is implemented, says Dehra MLA

As per the draft notification, commercial activity like the construction of hotels, resorts or any kind of polluting industry will not be allowed in the eco-sensitive zone around the Pong Dam sanctuary. The notification also prohibits laying of overhead electric or communication towers in eco sensitive zone. The establishment of saw mills, brick-kilns or commercial use of firewood would be banned in the area.

Hoshiyar Singh, while talking to The Tribune, said that the notification would affect 51 villages in five Assembly constituencies of Kangra. He added that the government in reply to his question said that it had not raised any objections to the draft notification for declaring 1 km area around the Pong Dam sanctuary as an eco-sensitive zone.

He claimed that thousands of villagers, most of whom are Pong Dam oustees, would be affected if the draft notification was implemented. The state government would even face difficulties in providing basic facilities such as roads, electricity and water supply to people residing in the region. Forest Department officials had been insensitive as they did not raise objections to the draft notification, he added.

The people residing around the Pong Dam sanctuary are already at loggerheads with the wildlife authorities. They are cultivating land around the Pong Dam in contravention of the Wildlife Act. Many villages in the region are deprived of roads due to the wildlife sanctuary regulation rules.

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