The Madras High Court today directed the central and Tamil Nadu governments to file within six weeks a report on the steps taken on preservation of wetlands in the state.
Taking suo motu notice as per the direction of the Supreme Court on preservation of wetlands in the state, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar posed several questions to the departments concerned on various issues including creation of physical barrier to prevent cattle entry, boundary demarcation by non-corrosive pillars, engaging para-monitoring personnel and conducting field research of vegetation, water birds and wild life-eco development activities, among others.
The bench also directed to nominate an officer not below the rank of joint secretary to the Central Wetland Regulatory Authority in order to comprehensively carry on the work of identifying and preserving wetlands. The Supreme Court in its order dated April 3 had said, “We have put it to the counsel for the petitioner that insofar as the Ramsar Convention sites are concerned, since they are matters of international heritage, it might be more appropriate if the concerned high courts monitor the management of these sites at least till there is some visible improvement.”
Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. It is also known as convention on wetlands. The bench then posted the matter to August 21 for further hearing.