NGT notice to Centre, Rajasthan on bird deaths around Sambhar Lake
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued notices to the Centre and the Rajasthan government last week seeking response on the bad state of several wetlands including Sambhar Lake, where 20,000 birds have died since November 10, after taking suo-motto cognisance of a report published in Hindustan Times on November 20.
The HT report ‘Rajasthan’s Sambhar lake, where 18,000 birds died, among worst wetlands in India’ was based on the draft wetland ranking by the environment ministry, which ranked Sambhar Lake among 34 worst wetlands in the country.
The draft report also said the parameters for the wetlands ecosystem health assessment were seven including suitability of water quality for aquatic life, the extent of plant invasion in water bodies and inflow and outflow of water channels.
The principal bench of NGT headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said in view of the report, substantial question of environment with regard to compliance of norms prescribed under the Wetland Rules framed under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, arises.
On November 20, the bench ordered that the National Wetland Authority, State Wetland Authority, Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board and Jaipur district magistrate to file a joint factual and action taken report before the next date of hearing on January 22, 2020.
On November 21, the Bareilly-based Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) confirmed on Thursday that the cause of death of the migratory birds at India’s biggest inland salt water wetland, around Sambhar lake, was botulism, a neuromuscular illness.
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