A local resident, Alka Sareen, has challenged the draft eco-sensitive notification around wildlife sanctuary Khol Hai Raitan in Panchkula district at the National Green Tribunal (NGT), New Delhi. This notification, which is yet to be approved by the central government, has reduced the eco-sensitive zone to zero metre towards Panchkula city side so that projects such as IT park, development projects in Sectors 23 to 28, real estate project like Bhoomi Greens and also dumping ground site in Jhuriwala get bailed out. The NGT has issued notice for August 29 for reply.
In 2009, the Haryana government proposed an eco-sensitive zone of 5km all around Khol Hai Raitan wildlife sanctuary and prepared a draft notification and sent it to the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) for publication so as to invite objections.
In June 2011, however, the state government sent another proposal to the MoEF reducing the eco-sensitive zone to 1km all around the wildlife sanctuary. A draft notification was prepared and sent to the central government. This draft notification was still affecting some of the development projects, including dumping ground site.
In May 2013, the state government sent its final proposal to the MoEF reducing the eco-sensitive zone to 0 to 925 metre around the sanctuary.
While as per the earlier notifications of 2009 and 2011, an ecosensitive zone was proposed all around Khol Hai Raitan wildlife sanctuary, now according to the notification of 2013, the ecosensitive zone is restricted only to one side of Khol Hai Raitan wildlife sanctuary.
Now with zero metre eco-sensitive zone towards the side of Panchkula city, many projects get bailed out.
“It is incomprehendable how the Haryana government can term a distance of 0 metre from the boundary of a declared wildlife sanctuary as an eco-sensitive zone. Zero metre is no distance at all and this distance, thus, implies that there is no eco-sensitive zone at all. Further, now the ecosensitive zone has been finalised only on the northern and eastern sides of Khol Hai Raitan wildlife sanctuary, while on the southern and western sides, there is no ecosensitive zone,” submits Alka Sareen, a resident of Sector 25, before the NGT.