NGT directs Chief Secretary for personal appearance in encroachment of wetlands case

NGT directs Chief Secretary for personal appearance in encroachment of wetlands case
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New Delhi, July 24: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Principal Bench, New Delhi has directed the J&K Chief Secretary to appear personally before it in the case relating to encroachment of wetlands in J&K on 17 November 2021.

Hearing a petition of Raja Muzaffar Bhat regarding the prevention of unscientific dumping of waste and encroachment of Hokersar Wetland, Wular Lake and Kreentchoo-Chandhara Wetland in J&K against the state of J&K and others, the NGT directed the state governments that have not complied with earlier orders or directions given by the Central government should do so within a period of four weeks failing which they would be constrained to require the presence of the Chief Secretaries of the state governments in addition to imposition of heavy costs keeping in mind the necessity of conserving whatever water bodies were left in the country.

The NGT listed the matter for further directions and for hearing on the objections to the new rules on 9th November, 2017.

It also directed for the application of the principles of Rule 4 of the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 to 2,01,503 wetlands mapped by the Union of India.

"The Union of India will identify and inventorise all these 2,01,503 wetlands with the assistance of the state governments and will also communicate our order to the state governments which will also bind the state governments to the effect that these identified 2,01,503 wetlands are subject to the principles of Rule 4 of the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010."

The directions call for reclamation of wetlands, setting up of new industries and expansion of existing industries, manufacture or handling or storage or disposal of hazardous substances covered under the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989 notified vide SO No.966(E),dated 27 November 1989 or the Rules for Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Micro-organisms and Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells notified vide GSR No 1037(E) dated 5 December 1989 or the Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008 notified vide S O No 2265 (E) dated 24 November 2008 and solid waste dumping provided that the existing practices existed before the commencement of these rules shall be phased out within a period not exceeding six months from the date of commencement of these rules, discharge of untreated wastes and effluents from industries, cities or towns and other human settlements provided that the practices existed before the commencement of these rules would be phased out within a period not exceeding one year from the date of commencement of these rules.

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