Locking horns with the Punjab government over demarcation of eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) area, the Chandigarh administration has demanded that area of Kansal village, which falls under SAS Nagar district, should be included in the ESZ proposed around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.
Without consulting the UT administration, the Punjab government kept an area of only 100 metre around the sanctuary as ESZ, while the Chandigarh administration has identified an area 2.5km around the sanctuary as ESZ. Of the total catchment area of Sukhna Lake, 29 square kilometre (sq km) falls in Chandigarh, 10.22 sq km in Haryana and 2.77 sq km under the jurisdiction of Punjab.
The Haryana government, however, is yet to identify the ESZ area falling under its jurisdiction.
The Chandigarh administration on Monday shot off a letter to the union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), seeking its directions to the Punjab government for expanding its ambit of the proposed ESZ at least by a kilometre.
The Tata Housing Company is planning to come up with Tata Camelot Housing project in Kansal, which, at present, is tangled in litigations.
UT environment department director Santosh Kumar said the decision of the Punjab government of identifying 100-metre area as ESZ did not make any sense. "We have sought the MoEF's direction to Punjab for inclusion of Kansal village, where Tata is planning to set up a mega housing project," said Kumar.
The MoEF has accepted the UT administration's proposed eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary. In area surrounding the sanctuary, the UT administration has recommended low-density and low-rise buildings.
However, the final call on permissible height of the buildings will be taken after the proposed ESZ is notified by the ministry.
According to Kumar, after the notification, an ESZ management plan will be prepared for the implementation of recommendations made in the proposal before inviting objections from the public.
Till the proposal is notified, the activities prohibited by the ministry guidelines would remain banned within 10-km periphery of the sanctuary.