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Posted at: Dec 7, 2017, 2:01 AM; last updated: Dec 7, 2017, 2:01 AM (IST)

Sukhna to be declared wetland

Encroachments in catchment area to invite strict action

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 6

Encroachments in the catchment  area  of Sukhna Lake will be  strictly dealt with as the  Chandigarh  Administration has  started the process  to declare the lake a wetland  under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017,  notified  by the Centre.

The rules have  strict  provisions  to protect the wetland. The decision  to  declare Sukhna Lake as a wetland  is  likely to be  approved at the  first meeting of the  Chandigarh  Wetland   Authority, constituted recently by the  Administration.

The authority has been formed under the chairmanship of the UT Administrator. The  committee  has 15 members. The Adviser to the  Administrator has been  appointed the vice-chairman of the authority. An officer of the Administration said once Sukhna Lake was notified as a wetland,  several activities would be prohibited within the wetland, including encroachment of any kind, setting up of any industry and expansion of the existing industries, manufacture or handling or storage or disposal of construction and demolition waste covered under the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016, and hazardous substances covered  under the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989, or the Rules for  Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Micro-organisms Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989, or the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Trans-Boundary  Movement) Rules, 2008, electronic waste covered under the e-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, solid waste dumping, discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities, towns, villages and other human  settlements and any construction of a permanent nature within 50 metres of the wetland.

Sukhna Lake is facing  a threat  to its  existence  from  encroachments  in  its  catchment  area  and pollution  caused by  discharge  of  sewage from  nearby  areas. An officer of the Administration said offenders  would face action. The lake is a haven for migratory birds. Poaching in the wetland area will also  invite  strict  action. The authority will also  form technical  and grievance  committees. 

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