NGT declares 100m from edge of Ganga as No-development Zone

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has passed a slew of directions, measures, fines, and strict deadlines to rejuvenate River Ganga.

It declared ‘No-Development Zone’ along an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river in the stretch between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.

This zone must be turned into green belts.

NGT directions The NGT has banned dumping of waste of any kind within 500 metres from the edge of River Ganga.

Rs. 50,000 environment compensation will be imposed on anyone who dumps waste in the river. The apex environment regulator also directed all authorities concerned to complete various projects including setting up of a sewage treatment plant and cleaning drains within two years.

The NGT also directed Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh governments to formulate guidelines for regulating religious activities on the ghats of Ganga River or its tributaries.

It also ordered to stop indiscriminate extraction of groundwater from all industrial units falling in the catchment area of Ganga River.

The NGT also directed Uttar Pradesh government to be duty-bound to shift tanneries within six weeks, from Jajmau in Kanpur to leather parks in Unnao or any other appropriate place.

It also appointed a supervisory committee, headed by the secretary of the Union Water Resources Ministry and comprising IIT professors and officials from UP government to oversee implementation of the directions passed in its verdict.

It also asked the committee to submit reports at regular intervals.

India’s Taj Mahal ranked 5th among top 10 global landmarks

One of the most iconic wonders in the world, Taj Mahal has become the only Indian monument to figure in the world’s top 10 Travellers’ Choice awards for Landmarks.

The historic monument was ranked at the fifth position in the list. The top spot was clinched by
the world’s largest religious monument- Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Key Highlights

• The other iconic landmarks to feature in the top ten included Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center in Abu Dhabi at 2nd rank, Spain’s Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba at the 3rd and St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City at the 4th rank.

• While the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St Petersburg, Russia and the Great Wall of China were ranked 6th and 7th respectively, Incan city of Machu Picchu in Peru was ranked 8th.

• The final two positions were taken up by Plaza de Espana in Spain and Duomo di Milano in Italy, which were ranked 9th and 10th respectively.

India’s ivory-white marble mausoleum however, was ranked 2nd in the Asia list, only after Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, which topped the list yet again.

The other monuments featured in the Asian list included the Great Wall of China at rank 3, Thailand’s Temple of the Reclining Buddha at rank 4, Fushimi Inari in Kyoto, Japan at rank 5 and Malaysia’s Petronas Twin Towers at rank 6.

Bhindawas bird sanctuary to be developed as tourist resort

Manohar Lal Khattar, the Chief Minister of Haryana, on 19 May 2017 said that the Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary in Jhajjar, a heaven for the migratory birds, would be developed as a beautiful tourist destination.

The announcement was made after the Manohar Lal visited the lake, Prakritik Chetna Kendra, and the watch-tower set up in the Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary in Jhajjar. During his visit to the Sanctuary, he was accompanied by Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Om Parkash Dhankar.

Highlights of the announcement

• He said that the facilities like arrangements for night stay of tourists and dispensary for birds and the wildlife would be provided at this place.

• He said that an assistant would soon be appointed in the dispensary.

• Apart from this, doctors of the Sultanpur Bird Century, Gurugram, would be made available online.

• Assistance would also be taken from the hospital for the wildlife set up by the Jain community in Delhi.

Besides, the CM also said that the youth of the area would be trained to offer their services as guides for the tourists visiting the sanctuary. The district administration would provide them three-month special training after which they would be given training certificates.