Sukhna Lake

Context

  • The Chandigarh administration had issued a draft notification for declaring Sukhna Lake as a wetland under the Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rule, 2017. In July this year, the Chandigarh Wetlands Authority had unanimously decided to declare the Sukhna Lake as a wetland.

About the lake:

  • Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh is a reservoir at the foothills (Shivalik hills) of the Himalayas.The catchment area of Sukhna Wetland spreading over 10,395 acres as finalised by the Survey of India includes 2,525 acres of Haryana and 684 acres of Punjab.
  • Declaring Sukhna a wetland will help preserve the lake and conserve its ecological and biodiversity. A major threat to Sukhna is the discharge of pollutants from neighbouring areas.With this, various activities will be prohibited/regulated/ promoted both in the wetland as well catchment areas.

Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017:

  • These rules notified by the environment ministry, decentralise wetlands management by giving states powers to not only identify and notify wetlands within their jurisdictions but also keep a watch on prohibited activities.
  • The Centre’s role under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, will be restricted to monitoring its implementation by states/UTs, recommending trans-boundary wetlands for notification and reviewing integrated management of selected wetlands under the Ramsar Convention.
  • It also indirectly widens the ambit of permitted activities by inserting the ‘wise use’ principle, giving powers to state-level wetland authorities to decide what can be allowed in larger interest.

Source: IE