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Identify wetlands in district, maintain biodiversity: Noida DM

The district magistrate has asked the Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development authorities and the forest department to identify wetlands in Gautam Budh Nagar so groundwater levels and biodiversity can be maintained.

noida Updated: Sep 16, 2018 04:33 IST
Preety Acharya
Preety Acharya
Hindustan Times, Noida
wetlands,biodiversity,Noida
Migratory birds at a wetland in Noida.(HT File Photo)

The district magistrate has asked the Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development authorities and the forest department to identify wetlands in Gautam Budh Nagar so groundwater levels and biodiversity can be maintained.

According to officials, there are 783 wetlands in the district, of which 41 are over 2.5 hectares in size.

“According to data acquired in 2015, there are 783 wetlands in the district. We have to identify wetlands in the district so that they can be notified by the wetland authority of Uttar Pradesh. Wetlands play an important role in helping maintain water levels and biodiversity in the area,” PK Shrivastava, divisional forest officer (DFO), said.

The DFO will be issuing letters to all three authorities to identify wetlands that are over 2.5 hectares in size.

“The list we have is old; many of these wetlands may have been encroached upon. We need to locate and reclaim them, for which I will be writing to the development authorities. These departments will be identifying and informing us of the wetlands,” Shrivastava added.

According to the district magistrate, who has issued instructions in this regard, the concerned departments have to complete the task of identifying wetlands within 15 days.

“We are asking all the authorities to identify wetlands so that the same can be notified. It is important to preserve wetlands to maintain the biodiversity in any area,” BN Singh, district magistrate, said.

Some wetlands have been filled with garbage by residents, officials said. They added that the district administration will also be taking appropriate legal action against people who have encroached upon wetlands.

“Authorities will ensure that no building map associated with wetlands is passed; for that, we have to first complete the task of identification. The district magistrate has asked that wetlands be identified within 15 days,” Shrivastava said.

According to the list that the department currently has, there are 288 wetlands in Dadri block, 260 in Jewar block and 191 in Dankaur block. Bisrakh block, which includes urban areas of Noida, has the smallest number of wetlands — 44.

Officials said that in the next one year, a digital inventory of all these wetlands will be prepared and uploaded on a portal developed by the Central government. The department will also prepare a management plan for the wetlands and a list of activities that will be regulated and permitted in the notified areas and their zone of influence.

Some permitted activities could include fisheries at subsistence level, harvesting aquatic plants, or other activities that allow water storage, groundwater recharge or flood buffering.

According to the environment ministry, these wetlands help with water storage, water purification, flood mitigation, erosion control, aquifer recharge, microclimate regulation as well as aesthetic enhancement of the landscape, also supporting recreational, social and cultural activities.

First Published: Sep 16, 2018 04:33 IST