Par­adise de­stroyed

A buf­fer zone of just 100 me­tres for the Okhla Bird Sanc­tu­ary - the only place in the world af­ter Nairobi to at­tract 400 bird species - could be dis­as­trous

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Van­dana Ram­nani

Izone would de­stroy the bird sanc­tu­ary.

The Supreme Court in a De­cem­ber 4, 2006, or­der had di­rected the MoEF, as a fi­nal chance, to ask states for pro­pos­als to no­tify eco-sen­si­tive zones – to which the states had not re­sponded. “The state govern­ment first de­cides to set a limit for the eco-sen­si­tive zone af­ter al­most seven years and then it de­cides to di­lute it twice in a span of a few months,” the en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists add.

The sanc­tu­ary has been in the news due to the de­lay in hand­ing over of a num­ber of commercial and hous­ing projects for about one lakh res­i­dents close by. The Na­tional Green Tri­bunal (NGT) in its Oc­to­ber or­der last year had asked around 50 de­vel­op­ers with projects lo­cated close to the OBS, to stop con­struc­tion work as they did not have the req­ui­site en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ances from the Na­tional Board for Wildlife. In April this year, the NGT had is­sued an or­der that for­bade Noida Author­ity from giv­ing com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cates to projects within a 10- kilo­me­tre ra­dius of the OBS, and so pos­ses­sion can­not be handed over in the projects in ques­tion.

Con­tin­ued on page 05

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