Chandigarh administration to discuss high-rises in periphery, ESZ with states

Ryan M. Cason
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Chandigarh administration to discuss high-rises in periphery, ESZ with statesCHANDIGARH: The Chandigarh administration has decided to take up with Punjab and Haryana the issues of high-rise buildings and other developments in the periphery, Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary ESZ and interstate boundary.

The decision was taken in a recent meeting chaired by UT adviser Dharam Pal, who also reviewed the status of implementation of Chandigarh Master Plan-2031.

A senior UT officer said administration’s top brass will soon hold a joint meeting with Punjab and Haryana governments regarding high-rise buildings in the periphery, constructions going on in the border areas and interstate boundary dispute on various sites. Besides, they will also hold a crucial meeting regarding early declaration of eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, he said.

The officer said the UT will also take up the matter with the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) to expedite the process to notify ESZ around Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary for the area falling in Punjab and Haryana.

In 2017, the UT administration had notified to leave a 2km to 2.75km radius from the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary as ESZ.

The UT had also reiterated that 90% of the area of the sanctuary falls in Punjab and Haryana, so to protect it, it was important to immediately notify ESZ in these states. In response to UT’s letter, the ministry had stated that they were pursuing the matter with Punjab and Haryana.

In 2020 too, in a meeting convened by the MoEFCC, wildlife division, to discuss forest and wildlife management being undertaken in the states and union territories, the UT administration had sought declaration of ESZ at the earliest.

The ministry has issued final notification on ESZ for Chandigarh alone, while Punjab and Haryana have to date not declared such zones in their respective territories.

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