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NGT seeks response from authorities on plea apprehending damage to environment during 'Maru Mahotsav 2023'

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2023 00:37 IST

New Delhi [India], February 1 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has called for an Action Taken Report (ATR) from various authorities of the State of Rajasthan on a plea raising the issue of apprehended damage to the environment by the proposed activities during 'Maru Mahotsav' in the first week of February.
The matter has been listed on February 3, 2023, for further consideration.
The bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goyal called for an ATR from various authorities and also issued notice to the project proponent - Principal Secretary, Tourism, Rajasthan by email.
The present application has been moved by Tapeshwar Singh Bhati, a resident of Kota Rajasthan.
The grievance in this application is against apprehended damage to the environment by proposed activities during 'Maru Mahotsav 2023' at Jaisalmer from February 2 to 5, 2023.
The bench said, " To further consider the above issues, we call for a factual and action is taken report in the matter from PCCF Wildlife, Rajasthan, Chairman, State PCB, and District Magistrate, Jaisalmer by February 3, 2023, by e-mail.
The bench said that the Chairman, of PCB, will be the nodal agency for compliance.
The authorities may take such action in the matter as is necessary to comply with the Rule of Law and for the protection of wildlife and environment and the Desert National Park without waiting for further orders also, the bench directed.
The District Magistrate, Jaisalmer may remain present in person through video conferencing, the bench said.
The applicant has stated that on February 4-5, 2023 after sunset, a cultural program is to be held which will involve fireworks, laser beams, and sound systems at high volume. Ten to fifteen thousand persons are likely to attend.
The program is to be held at Sum and Khuhdi Dunes near Jaisalmer, close to the Desert National Park (DNP), Jaisalmer, and 200-400 meters from the bird sanctuary with the endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB), (also known as Godawan).
The proposed activities will adversely affect the wildlife, the bird sanctuary, and the environment, the applicant stated.
It is also stated that the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Wildlife Forest has also expressed concern about the above issue but the Tourism Department of Rajasthan is going ahead with the same in violation of provisions of the Wildlife Act, 1972.
The applicant has also annexed a copy of a letter dated January 12, 2023, addressed to the Collector, Jaisalmer by the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Wildlife Forest, Jaisalmer recommending that fireworks, laser shows,s and sound activities in the area should be avoided.
The bench observed, " From the above, we are satisfied that substantial question of environment arises which may call for the intervention of this Tribunal under Section 15 of the NGT Act, 2010."
Apart from disturbance to the wildlife and the ecosystem of dunes by fireworks, laser shows, and high-volume sound to which objection has been raised by the wildlife department, adequacy of sanitation and hygiene is to be ascertained when such a large gathering will assemble, the bench further observed.
Further issue of the adverse impact of unregulated use of Vehicles and consequent generation of dust and smoke and impact on camels has also to be looked into, the bench said. (ANI)