Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Proposed PUDA colony: Govt served notice for compromising eco norms

Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, July 1
Reacting on the complaint filed by a local resident, Navdeep Asija, the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) constituted by the Supreme Court of India, to ensure the ecological security of the country, has issued a fresh notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab, to initiate appropriate necessary action for allegedly compromising environmental norms for the proposed Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) colony near the Deputy Commissioner's residence here.

The PUDA has proposed to raise a colony comprising 56 houses on the bank of the extinct Badha Lake, a wetland and lush green area, after cutting hundreds of trees.

"We brought the matter to the notice of the CEC two years back, which in turn, asked the state government thrice to take necessary action but nothing tangible has come out," informed Asija.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Forest and Wildlife Preservation Department, Punjab, has already informed the complainant through the Right to Information Act that more than 400 trees are there at the colony site. If these trees are axed, it could cause an adverse effect on the biodiversity and can damage the flora and fauna of the area.

Another important aspect is that the proposed low-lying flood-prone area acts as a safeguard from floods during the monsoon. "The construction of houses there can cause destruction in case of flash floods," apprehended Asija.

Asija had also filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding cancellation of the proposed project in the larger interest of Fazilka town. The hearing in case has been scheduled for July 8.

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