- The Centre on September 26 notified a new set of rules under the head Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017 replacing the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010.
- One of the outstanding rules of the notification is that encroachments on wetlands stand banned.
- The rules prohibit solid waste dumping, discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities, towns, villages, and other human settlements into wetlands.
- The new notification is expected to appreciably benefit the State government’s Haritha Keralam Mission to conserve and protect wetlands.
- There is considerable scope for the new rules to complement the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Act, 2003, say environmentalists.
- The draft rules had largely sought to dilute the Centre’s onus for wetland conservation and pass that responsibility to the State governments.
- The environmentalists had also felt that the draft had watered down priority to wetland conservation under the label of balancing development and environmental concerns.