NGT raps Rajasthan on the knuckles for inadequate measures in Sambhar lake | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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NGT raps Rajasthan on the knuckles for inadequate measures in Sambhar lake

Hindustan Times, Jaipur | By
Sep 09, 2020 11:41 AM IST

The NGT said in its order that the problem noted of management of waste and sewage, removal of encroachment and disposal of sodium sulphate waste/sludge generated from salt refining units still remain to be fully tackled .

The National Green Tribunal has rapped the Rajasthan government for inadequate remedial measures in Sambhar lake where thousands of birds died last year and has ordered the chief secretary to furnish a report of monitoring the water body before the next date of hearing on January 22.

Thousands of birds died in Rajasthan’s Sambhar lake last November due to animal botulism, a neuromuscular illness.(PTI File Photo)
Thousands of birds died in Rajasthan’s Sambhar lake last November due to animal botulism, a neuromuscular illness.(PTI File Photo)

“Since Sambhar Lake is said to be a Ramsar site of international significance, and remedial action taken is not adequate even after sufficiently long time, we direct the chief secretary to monitor further remedial steps in the matter, at least once every month, and furnish a report of such monitoring to this tribunal before the next date of hearing,” said the NGT order by chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel and judicial member SP Wangdi.

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The government received a copy of the order on Monday after it had been passed on August 27.

Sambhar lake, the largest inland salt lake in India, hit the headlines late last year after almost 22,000 migratory birds died there and sparked alarm among environmentalists and ornithologists. The birds died due to animal botulism, a neuromuscular illness.

The NGT is hearing the original application filed on the basis of a news item published in Hindustan Times, titled ‘Sambhar’s ecology among worst: Report’, on November 20, 2019, and petitions filed by Jaipur-based Wild Creatures Organisation and Delhi-based the Ecology, Rural Development and Sustainability Foundation (ERDS Foundation), both non-profit organisations.

During a hearing on March 17, the NGT ordered the state government, among other things, to prepare a comprehensive management plan.

The State Wetland Authority (SWA) told the NGT on June 23 that a comprehensive environment management plan had been prepared by the environment department but was yet to be approved by the authority.

“Due to Covid emergency, the meeting of wetland authority could not be held which will be held shortly and the plan will be submitted thereafter. Delineation of core and buffer area has been included in the comprehensive management plan and compliance will be submitted along with the management plan,” the SWA report said.

Meanwhile, chief secretary Rajeeva Swarup will interact with collectors on September 11 through video conference and the SWA meeting has been scheduled on September 15, officials said.

The chief secretary earlier reviewed progress with departments on August 4 and a meeting of the Standing Committee on Management of Sambhar Lake was held on August 6.

The NGT noted in the August 27 order that the problem of management of waste and sewage, removal of encroachment and disposal of sodium sulphate waste/ sludge generated from salt refining units still remain to be fully tackled.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Rakesh Goswami leads Hindustan Times’ bureau in Rajasthan. He loves to write on social issues and has been a journalist for 20 years, including 8 years as a broadcast journalist.

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