The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday directed the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government to issue notification for specifying the boundary of Hastinapur Wildlife sanctuary within six months.
The NGT was hearing the petition on the protection of swamp deer, hog deer, biodiversity and biological resources of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary.
A bench comprising Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore and expert member S S Garbyal said that despite a number of projects or schemes undertaken by the state government for protection and conservation of the wildlife species and the habitat of the sanctuary, there have not been desired results.
The tribunal's judgment came on a plea by advocate Gaurav Bansal alleging threat to wildlife especially to the swamp deer due to human intervention in the Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary and seeking protection and restitution of the biodiversity and ecosystem of the sanctuary.
In April, the NGT had directed the Principal Secretary of Forest and Wildlife Department, Uttar Pradesh, to be present before the court in connection with the plea filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal for the protection of ecology and biodiversity of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary in the state.
The NGT was irked by the fact that Uttar Pradesh government did not pass the final notification, declaring Hastinapur wildlife area as a sanctuary. Therefore, the tribunal has directed the personal presence of the official to explain the delay.
Bansal has filed the petition for the protection of Ecology and Biodiversity of HastinapurWildlife Sanctuary. The petition states that various industries are situated within the sanctuary and are hampering its ecology.
Bansal has also annexed the report of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), which states that endangered species like swamp deer and hog deer were at risk due to high human presence and forest fires in the sanctuary
The report further states: "A large proportion of Hastinapur sanctuary lies within very high human use area. Instead of diluting efforts in managing a large wildlife sanctuary that is predominantly under human use, management interventions should focus on intensively managing these identified critical wildlife habitats.
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