Locking horns with the Punjab government over demarcation of eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) area, the Chandigarh administration has demanded that area of Kansal village, which falls under SAS Nagar district, should be included in the ESZ proposed around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.
Without consulting the UT administration, the Punjab government kept an area of only 100 metre around the sanctuary as ESZ, while the Chandigarh administration has identified an area 2.5km around the sanctuary as ESZ. Of the total catchment area of Sukhna Lake, 29 square kilometre (sq km) falls in Chandigarh, 10.22 sq km in Haryana and 2.77 sq km under the jurisdiction of Punjab.
The Haryana government, however, is yet to identify the ESZ area falling under its jurisdiction.
The Chandigarh administration on Monday shot off a letter to the union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), seeking its directions to the Punjab government for expanding its ambit of the proposed ESZ at least by a kilometre.
The Tata Housing Company is planning to come up with Tata Camelot Housing project in Kansal, which, at present, is tangled in litigations.
UT environment department director Santosh Kumar said the decision of the Punjab government of identifying 100-metre area as ESZ did not make any sense. "We have sought the MoEF's direction to Punjab for inclusion of Kansal village, where Tata is planning to set up a mega housing project," said Kumar.1
A bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw had earlier issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Chandigarh government and the Tata Camelot Housing Colony.
The bench today fixed the plea, filed by advocate Aalok Jagga, for hearing on July 30.
'TATA Camelot' is a Rs 1,800-crore building project having 92,100 flats in 19 towers, ranging between 12 and 35 storeys and is slated to be raised on 53.39 acres of land near the Chandigarh Capitol Complex.
The project allegedly falls in the catchment area of Sukhna Lake in Union Territory of Chandigarh.
The PIL has been transferred to the Delhi High Court after it has been alleged that the beneficiaries include some of the judges of that high court and top bureaucrats of the state.
Besides seeking summoning of records related to the project, the plea has also sought issuance of a direction to restrain the respondents (Centre and others) from commencing the work "including construction, sale and allotment" of flats".2