The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday ordered the Noida authority to stop unauthorised constructions being carried out by private builders within the 10-km radius of Okhla Bird Sanctuary near Delhi-UP border.
Local environmentalists had filed a petition with the NGT---which hears cases related to forests, environment, biodiversity, air and water---seeking a ban on constructions in the vicinity of the 3.5-square kilometre sanctuary, which is home to more than 300 species of birds and notified as one of the 466 Important Bird Areas in India.
“The NGT has directed Noida authority to halt constructions immediately and take the help of the police if needed. All 53 builders whose projects are underway within the 10-km radius have been made party to the case,” said petitioners’ counsel Gaurav Bansal.
The Noida authority, Uttar Pradesh government and the Centre soon shall inspect all the building projects around the sanctuary and submit a report before the NGT within two weeks, the ruling said.
Uttar Pradesh is among the several states that are yet to declare the areas within the 10-km radius of national parks and bird sanctuaries as eco-sensitive zones.
Following a Supreme Court order, the ministry had asked all the states and union territories to impose the restriction. The builders have allegedly being carrying out construction projects without seeking clearance from environment and wildlife departments.