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Wildlife board clears hospital near Delhi’s Asola Bhatti sanctuary with a warning

Big institutes within the city add to Delhi’s traffic and pollution load, says the National Board for Wildlife

delhi Updated: Nov 05, 2017 20:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Asola Bhatti,wildlife board,Central Armed Police Forces Institute of Medical Science
The Central Armed Police Forces Institute of Medical Science (CAPFIMS) will share its boundary wall with the sanctuary that spreads over 19.57 sq km. (Hindustan Times)

The National Board for Wildlife has cleared an armed police forces hospital near the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in Delhi with a caveat that such huge institutes should not come up in the city because they add to the traffic woes and pollution load.

The Central Armed Police Forces Institute of Medical Science (CAPFIMS) will share its boundary wall with the sanctuary that spreads over 19.57 sq km.

The Asola Bhatti Sanctuary, located on the southernmost tip of the Capital, has the last remnants of the Delhi Ridge hill range. It is home to a rich biological diversity with around 300 species of animals.

“This will add to traffic and environmental burden on a highly polluted mega-city. Can’t authorities think of constructing such institutions in B-class (tier-2) cities in the country? In future, such projects, which are not specific to Delhi, should not be constructed in Delhi,” the NBWL – India’s apex body on wildlife - said in its ‘general recommendations’ in its last meeting held in September.

The hospital would have a 500-bed general hospital, a 300-bed super specialty unit, a nursing college and a School of Paramedics. It will be built on the lines of the Armed Forces Medical College.

“Delhi is already overpopulated and suffers from increasing pollution. Construction of such institute may result into visits by personnel of armed forces and their relatives. As a result, the traffic on Delhi roads, pollution in its air and the waste will increase,” the recommendation said.

A committee headed by HS Singh, a member of the wildlife panel, visited the site in August and has proposed some measures that the institute need to take to prevent any impact on the sanctuary.

The agency concerned has been directed to deposit 2% of total cost of the project for undertaking soil-moisture conservation and improvement of wildlife habitat in the sanctuary, the committee recommended.

It has also been directed to come up with a thick green belt of native plant species to buffer air, sound and water pollution inside the sanctuary. The green belt would have to be kept out of public use.

The biomedical waste generated from the hospital should be disposed 5 km away from the boundary of the sanctuary. The boundary wall should be at least 10 feet high and be designed and constructed in such a way that no waste could be thrown over the wall into the sanctuary.

Exhaust fans, vents of air-conditioners should also not be directed towards the sanctuary, the committee said.

“The ridge forests and its surrounding areas should be preserved and improved as lung of the mega-city,” said one of the board members.

First Published: Nov 05, 2017 20:52 IST