NEW DELHI: The environment ministry on Tuesday invited comments to a draft notification that proposes a reduced the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary (OBS) — 100 metres from the eastern, western and southern boundary and an area of 1.27km from the northern boundary.
There will be a restriction on activities such as constructions, quarrying, mining, stone crushing and polluting industries in the ESZ. The notification will come as a great relief to 20,000 flat buyers in 17 group housing projects near the sanctuary which were falling in the 10km-wide ESZ earlier proposed by the National Green Tribunal.
An NGT order in October 2013 had stopped construction within 10km of the sanctuary and ordered the Noida Authority to not hand completion certificates to realty projects in the area till the ESZ is declared.
As per the new draft order, areas in the ESZ include parts of sector 95 Noida, Chhalera Orangabad, Nayabans, Shaheen Bagh, Jasola, Abdul Fazal enclave, Okhla, Canal colony under UP Irrigation department, Jogabai and Khizrabad. Vehicular traffic will also regulated in the area in a "habitat friendly" way.
The ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) has also constituted state level eco-sensitive zone monitoring committees for Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. A team of officials from MoEFCC and state environment agencies will monitor compliance of the provisions in the notification and maintain the sanctity of ESZ as per MoEFCC notification.
The draft states that the sanctuary is visited by 324 species and its conservation is necessary.