Wetlands authority to preserve water bodies, Delhi government tells High Court

The information was given in the form of an affidavit before a bench of chief justice D N Patel and justice C Hari Shankar while hearing a plea seeking immediate steps to restore the Old Fort Lake to its original state.
The Delhi government informed the Delhi High Court on Thursday that the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) had constituted a wetlands authority to look after conservation and management of wetlands in the national capital.
The Delhi government informed the Delhi High Court on Thursday that the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) had constituted a wetlands authority to look after conservation and management of wetlands in the national capital.
Updated on Jul 05, 2019 04:53 AM IST
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New Delhi | ByRicha Banka

The Delhi government informed the Delhi High Court on Thursday that the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) had constituted a wetlands authority to look after conservation and management of wetlands in the national capital.

The information was given in the form of an affidavit before a bench of chief justice D N Patel and justice C Hari Shankar while hearing a plea seeking immediate steps to restore the Old Fort Lake to its original state.

The plea, filed through advocates Saurabh Kansal and Pallavi S Kansal in 2017, had also sought a report on the steps taken to preserve water bodies, both natural and man-made, in the city.

On April 10, 2018, the Delhi government had told the high court that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, had notified the Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. Under this rule, each state and Union Territory had to constitute a state wetland authority as per the composition.

Following this, on April 9 this year, the court directed the Delhi government to ensure the constitution of the wetlands authority and file a compliance report.

On Thursday, advocate Gautam Narayan, additional standing counsel of Delhi government, told the court that the L-G had on April 23, 2019, notified the authority for the purpose of conservation and management of wetlands.

The court sought to know how it would conserve the over 1,000 water bodies in the city. It asked the government to file an affidavit on the steps taken to preserve the depleting water bodies.

The Delhi government had earlier told the court that each water body falls under different authorities and the Old Fort Lake was under the Archeological Survey of India, which had also inspected the site.

The government had told the bench that the Chief Executive Officer, Delhi Parks and Gardens Society had allotted specific numbers to 969 out of the 1009 water bodies, which along with the geo-coordinates, had been uploaded on its website.

The submissions came after petitioner Yashpal Singh sought details of steps taken for maintaining the ecological and hydrological balance of the capital.

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