The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday issued notices to the Union Environment Ministry and others for failing to take steps to protect the Dadri wetlands in the National Capital Region. The wetlands are the only area within a 200-km radius of the Capital where blackbucks exist in their natural habitat along with nilgais, and is home to more than 200 species of rare and migratory birds.

The Tribunal also issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh Government, Greater Noida Authority, Uttam Steels and Associates for destroying the wetland under the banner of Ansal API and the Shiv Nadar University. The notices followed a petition filed by Akash Vashishtha who raised the issue of destruction of eco-precious Dadri wildlife habitat and sought directions to restrain the builder and the university from carrying out any construction activity in the surroundings.

“Although the wetlands falling in a protected area are to be governed by the Wildlife Protection Act, areas such as Dadri wetlands have to be protected under the Wetlands (Conservation & Management) Rules framed under the Environment Protection Act, 1986,” noted Amit Khemka, the counsel for the petitioner.

“It is strange that although the government authorities are well aware for over two years that the builders are causing massive damage to these wetlands for monetary benefits, the authorities are only dragging their feet and allowing the rich biodiversity of the area to be destroyed continuously,” said Mr. Khemka.

The court has fixed July 10 as the next date of hearing in the case.

Courtesy: The Hindu