The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday issued notices to Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to the three states for the immediate conservation of their wetlands.
The notices were issued by a division bench of the High Court on a PIL filed by Pooja Dhull,a resident of Sector 20,Panchkula. The petitioner has sought better protection and conservation of the wetlands in the states,particularly those of international importance in accordance with the Ramsar Convention (an intergovernmental treaty,signed at Ramsar in Iran,that urges member countries to maintain the ecological character of their wetlands).
Dhull had also sought directions for the implementation of the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules,2010 and directions to remove any encroachments on the wetlands of Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh. The petitioner also urged the court to pass directions to ensure the states clean hazardous waste from their wetlands.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover has also issued notices to the Department of Environment and Forests,Delhi.
Dhull submitted in court that to protect the wetlands,the Centre had formulated a National Wetlands Conservation Programme and identified such ecological areas in the country. Nothing substantial,however,has been done by the respondents to implement the same in accordance with international acceptable standards.The program was started in 1985-86 with the coordination of the states but still after passage of time,the wetlands are under threat due to industrial activities and other activities, reads the PIL. Dhull had contended that the wetlands not only recharge ground water but are also home to migratory birds; many of which are already threatened with extinction.
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