Environment Ministry panel to visit Okhla Bird Sanctuary area

A panel constituted by the Environment Ministry is likely to visit Okhla Bird Sanctuary area next week as part of the Ministry`s efforts to demarcate the eco-sensitive zone around it.

New Delhi: A panel constituted by the Environment Ministry is likely to visit Okhla Bird Sanctuary area next week as part of the Ministry`s efforts to demarcate the eco-sensitive zone around it.

Official sources said the panel, consisting of officials from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi besides the Environnment Ministry, is expected to visit the sanctuary area to consider the demarcation of boundaries in fixing the eco-sensitive zone.

In a meeting held at the Environment Ministry a couple of days back, it had sought the opinion of states about determining eco-sensitive zone in the area surrounding the Okhla bird sanctuary.
The Environment Ministry`s move comes close on the heels of a recent National Green
Tribunal order which had stopped all new constructions within 10-km radius of the sanctuary.
The Ministry is said to be mooting a reduced radius eco-sensitive zone as opposed to the 10-km radius zone proposed by the NGT.

In its order, the NGT has directed the Centre to demarcate the eco-sensitive zone around the
Okhla Bird Sanctuary after considering fresh proposals of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana governments.
A bench headed by Justice P Jyothimani has issued the direction while dismissing a petition seeking prevention of alleged illegal and unauthorised construction being carried out by builders within the sanctuary`s 10-km radius claiming it to be an ESZ.

The bench had said "we direct the Secretary, MoEF, to call for the concerned officers of all the state governments and have interaction and decide finally about the fixation of the eco-sensitive zone in respect of Okhla Bird Sanctuary."

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