The Opposition BJP moved an adjournment motion in the Rajasthan assembly against a notification issued by the state government to carry out commercial activities in the Sambhar Salt Lake catchment area.
While moving the motion, Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore alleged that tenders were invited despite the authorities issuing a notice to stop commercial activities in the catchment area of the lake.
He also alleged that over 2,000 units were involved in illegal salt mining in the catchment area, where tubewells had been dug and brine water was being stolen.
He also highlighted the death of migratory birds in the lake area in November last year, saying it brought a bad repute to the state and the Rajasthan government could not "shy away from its responsibility".
Chomu BJP MLA Ramlal Sharma sought the government's response on the death of migratory birds and said it should be investigated whether the deaths occurred due to pollution, lack of oxygen or excessive mining.
In reply to the adjournment motion, Forest and Environment Minister Sukhram Bishnoi said 22,976 birds died due to botulism, a disease common in Europe and North Africa.
"Action is being taken to shut down the illegal tubewells and hotels being run for the past five years in the Sambhar Lake area," the minister said, adding that the previous government had permitted a hotel to run without an NOC from the Forest and Environment Department.
To this, Rathore said the state government should then shut down the hotel and it could not allow other private parties to carry out commercial activities on this pretext.
The minister also said a wetland authority and a standing committee had been constituted for the management of the lake and look into all aspects of activities being run in its catchment area.
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