Down To Earth replies

Down to Earth - - LETTERS -

The map as stated in the ar­ti­cle clearly says, "Map not to scale". Fur­ther, the map in­di­cates that the project area is touch­ing the road di­vid­ing the sanc­tu­ary and the project site. The re­porter vis­ited the site which touches the con­nect­ing road be­tween Kaimb­walla and Kansal vil­lages.

We have re­lied on the af­fi­davit filed by the Depart­ment of For­est, Chandigarh, in the Delhi High Court in May, 2014, after the case was trans­ferred to the court. Ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit ( p12), "Re­spon­dent No. 8 [Tata Hous­ing Limited] sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion in terms of en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment no­ti­fi­ca­tion" dated Septem­ber 14, 2006, for en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ance for its pro­posed project. "How­ever, ap­par­ently, it did not dis­close the re­jec­tion of its ap­pli­ca­tion by Chief Wildlife War­den for the grant of No-Ob­jec­tion Cer­tifi­cate". Rather, the re­spon­dent "chose not to dis­close the fact re­gard­ing the ex­is­tence of a wildlife sanc­tu­ary which is sit­u­ated just 123 me­tres away from the project site".

To quote fur­ther from the af­fi­davit: "Re­gard­ing ar­eas which are im­por­tant or sen­si­tive for eco­log­i­cal rea­sons, like wet­lands, wa­ter­courses or other wa­ter bod­ies, coastal zone, bio­spheres, moun­tains and forests", the re­spon­dent stated that "Sukhna Lake is sit­u­ated within 10 km of the said re­gion", whereas "the project is within the catch­ment area of Sukhna Lake and the lake is at an aerial dis­tance of just 1.5 km from the project".

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