Zone around Sukhna critical for conservation, will discuss with Amit Shah, says UT Adviser
While addressing the media about the matter, Pal said, “We have a meeting of the northern zonal council in Jaipur on July 9 where this will be one of the key issues to be taken up in the meeting.
Chandigarh Adviser Dharam Pal on Sunday said that the UT will bring up the matter of notifying the Eco-Sensitive Zone around Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary that falls under Punjab and Haryana with Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a meeting in July.
While addressing the media about the matter, Pal said, “We have a meeting of the northern zonal council in Jaipur on July 9 where this will be one of the key issues to be taken up in the meeting. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be chairing the meeting and this issue would be taken on priority.” The Adviser said that conservation of the sanctuary is necessary and the UT administration had written to the Centre to expedite the process to notify the ESZ around Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary. The ESZ is aimed at curbing encroachments around Sukhna that might pollute the area.
In 2017, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) Debendra Dalai had written to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), requesting a 2-2.75 km radius ESZ around Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.
UT had submitted its objections
On January 25, 2017, the union ministry issued the ESZ notification for Chandigarh. Earlier in 2015, the ministry had issued a draft notification only for the sanctuary area falling under the UT and not for that falling in the neighbouring states. The UT had then submitted its objections, urging the ministry to issue a notification for the entire ESZ as 90 per cent of the sanctuary falls in Punjab and Haryana and it is thus critical that the ESZ is notified immediately. The ministry turned down UT’s demand and retained its initial notification.
What the ESZ would do
Once an ESZ is declared, no new construction of any kind will be permitted w5ithin 0.5 km (zone-I) from the boundary of the zone and locals can only carry out reconstruction/repair of buildings in zone-I.
Furthermore, between 0.5-1.25 km area from the boundary of the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, construction of low density (ground coverage less than half of the plot size) and low-rise buildings (height up to 15 feet) will be allowed. Beyond the 1.25km limit, the construction of new buildings and houses will be regulated as per building bylaws.
Collector rates to be rationalised
A land pooling policy for villages
Pal said there are plenty of construction sites outside Lal Dora and the administration is working on a land pooling policy to tackle this issue. The administration has hired the Indian Institute of Human Settlement (IIHS), Bangalore, as a consultant for this policy. They have already submitted a draft after studying Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat.