Udaisagar should get protected under New Wetland Rules: Mahesh Sharma
Mahesh Sharma, environmentalist and Member of Wetland Task Force which was constituted by Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur submitted a letter to the Tehsildar Girwa informing about the new Wetland Rules announced by Central Government and after 6 June 2016 , new "Rules 2016" will be operational.
To protect Udaisagar Lake from any industrial or manmade disaster, local authority should conserve the lake under new Wetland Rules announced by Central Government.
Mahesh Sharma, environmentalist and Member of Wetland Task Force which was constituted by Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur submitted a letter to the Tehsildar Girwa informing about the new Wetland Rules announced by Central Government and after 6 June 2016 , new “Rules 2016” will be operational.
According to Sharma, local official are unaware about this new development and in past 6 years not a single wet land is declared as protected wetland.
Wetlands are vital parts of the natural ecosystem. They serve very important bio- diversity functions. These include flood mitigation, erosion control, ground water recharge; microclimate regulation and aesthetic enhancement of landscape, besides many wetlands in India also attract migratory birds.
According to the guidelines under the ‘Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010’, States were supposed to prepare a list of all the important wetlands which support vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered species of threatened ecological communities existing in the State by 2011 and sent to the Central Wetland Authority for appraisal and grant of clearance for notification by the Central Government for regulated activities within them.
Out of all the states, only Punjab, Assam and Orissa sent their list of identified wetlands. However, these documents did not comprise of the mandatory details of zone of influence, accounts of pre-existing rights and privileges, detailed maps etc., hence remained unaccepted.
Therefore, though the country is rich in the natural, biodiversity-supporting feature, but not a single wetland has been notified since the Wetland Rules came into existence. Only 25 wetlands identified by Ramsar Convention exist on paper today.
Sharma said that, after six years local administration is preparing the list of identified wetlands in Rajasthan but according to the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF & CC), “Central Wetland Regulatory Authority (CWRA) is not functional at present as its tenure has already been expired on 31.03.2015.
“ I strongly believe that, the failure of the wetland Rules 2010, is due to the fact that it concentrates all power in the hands of state and central governments, and it provides absolutely no role for people, or elected public representatives, living around the wetlands to be protected” he said.
As a matter of fact, human civilization developed on the banks of water bodies, and, most of the important wetlands were coming in the way of Industrial Area Development Master Plans of Major cities.
They are situated in outskirts of urban areas near important wetlands, where industrial expansion is taking place, and if they are declared as protected wetlands , no human activity is allowed in there catchment and drainage zone . For example if Udaisagar is declared as protected wetland then its drainage and catchment area will be declared as no human activity zone , the catchment area of this lake is only 477 sq. k.m. which covers total Udaipur city including industrial area and hundreds of villages around it, some activities are allowed only after approval from State Government.
Hence every citizen, villager, farmer who wants to repair his house has to get permission from Jaipur.
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