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Post NGT directive, environmental assessment committees formed in HP

Various important issues related to the assessment of the carrying capacity of eco-sensitive zones were discussed in detail during the meeting.

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

Implementing the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a state-level joint committee has been constituted to draft reports regarding the assessment of the carrying capacity of eco-sensitive zones of Himachal Pradesh.

While presiding over the first meeting of the State Level Joint Committee here on Tuesday, Additional Chief Secretary (Environment, Science and Technology), Prabodh Saxena informed the committee has been constituted as per the directions of the NGT.

Senior officers of the Department of Environment, Science and Technology, Forest, Urban Development, Town and Country Planning, Public Works, Rural Development, Transport, Pollution Control Board and other related departments, the representatives of Himachal Pradesh State Biodiversity Board, HFRI Shimla, State Disaster Management Authority, Experts from the School of Planning and Architecture New Delhi, National Institute of Technology Hamirpur, GB Pant Institute Kullu, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology Dehradun and other institutions has been included in the committee.

Various important issues related to the assessment of the carrying capacity of eco-sensitive zones were discussed in detail during the meeting.

Saxena directed the forest department officials to provide the list of notified Eco-Sensitive Zones along with other important information at the earliest.

He said besides environmental issues, other important aspects like economic, social, eco-tourism, tribal, wildlife and disaster management etc would also be taken into consideration while assessing the carrying capacity of the eco-sensitive zones of the state and a comprehensive report would be drafted.

Additional Chief Secretary said that in the first phase, reports of 4-5 zones of the state would be prepared on a pilot basis.

The services of institutes like the School of Planning and Architecture New Delhi, National Institute of Technology Hamirpur, GB Pant Institute Kullu, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology Dehradun and other institutions could be taken for the assessment of the carrying capacity of these zones.

The state-level committee also decided to constitute a sub-committee so that this process could be expedited.

Director, Environment, Science and Technology, Lalit Jain gave detailed information regarding the process of assessment of the carrying capacity of eco-sensitive zones during the meeting.

“Previous studies and reports of concerned departments and institutes could also be included in the assessment reports. Therefore, all the concerned departments and institutions must share these reports and suggestions with the sub-committee,” said Lalit Jain.