Home buyers cheer plan to redraw Okhla ESZ map

Home buyers cheer plan to redraw Okhla ESZ map

Much to the delight of home buyers in Noida, the Standing Committee of the National Board on Wildlife (NBWL) has agreed to redraw the ecologically sensitive zone (ESZ) map of the nearby Okhla Bird Sanctuary so that the civic authorities can issue occupancy certificates (OCs) to thousands of flats constructed in that area.

Redrawing the ESZ the eastern fringe of the capital became necessary following a 2013 order from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that prohibited construction of houses within 10-kilometre radius of the protected area.

The NGT ruling affected many middle-class home buyers who purchased flats in Noida but could not move in as they did not have the OCs. The central government was petitioned repeatedly and the matter reached the courts.

Minister speaks
“The new demarcation of the eco-sensitive zone around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary has been cleared and the final notification on this will be issued within a week. A draft notification was issued last September on which we received no major objections. Due diligence was followed,” Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said here on Tuesday after a meeting of the NBWL standing committee.

“The area up to 100 metres from the eastern, western and southern boundary and up to 1.27 kilometers from the northern boundary of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary as an eco-sensitive zone from the ecological and environmental point of view,” the draft notification said.

The green ministry is redrawing maps of a large number of sanctuaries all over the country. “It is a big relief for people who had booked (flats). Many were already paying the EMIs. People invested their hard-earned money. They will get relief. The confusion has ended. The final notification will be done in a week. The orders of the NGT have been fully followed,” he said.

Javadekar said once the proposal came from Uttar Pradesh, a team of officials from the state and central government inspected the site and opinion of experts were sought. “Now, it is a definitive and justifiable boundary,” he noted.

The Okhla Bird Sanctuary is at the Okhla barrage over Yamuna River and is situated in Gautam Buddh Nagar district (popular as Noida) on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh state border. It is known as a haven for over 300 bird species, especially water birds.

The NBWL standing committee also approved the upcoming campus of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Jhajjar in Haryana and widening of NH-7 in Maharashtra that connects the tiger reserves in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
 

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