Protect Okhla Bird Sanctuary sign now

Honble Chairman,
Central Empowered Committee
Of Honble Supreme Court of India,
New Delhi, INDIA


Sub: Illegal Construction on East Side Just
Adjacent to Okhla Bird Park & Wild Life
Sanctuary, Noida & Delhi, India



A Construction Project has been illegally undertaken and is being carried out by Government of Uttar Pradesh through New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) just Adjacent to the Okhla Bird Park & Wild Life Sanctuary (hereunder called OBP-WLS) without doing any Environment Impact Assessment as is mandatory under the Environment Protection Act. The Department of Forest, Government of Uttar Pradesh has remained a mute spectator. The Ministry of Environment & Forest (MOEF) of the Government of India has not done any thing to enforce the law that it is supposed to do.

A graphic has been placed at the link:

http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/0PO1SadxtNDJWUOrASWhTdff3SlYvYWBw-H3Epg8308BokGecvZ8NcwCDZv1Qn4MZ74tcTBFXyBPUwEr5QScbqAkCh34A/OBS-2008.01.21_1\%28Marked-Reduced\%29.jpg

This graphic has been marked to show:

1. Marked in Green Border is the area of Okhla Bird Park & Wild Life Sanctuary (hereunder called OBP-WLS) as notified by Government of Uttar Pradesh vide Gazette Notification No. 577/14-3-82/89 dated May 8, 1990.

2. Marked in Blue is the area under construction, which is adjoining the East Afflux Bund of OBP-WLS.

3. Marked in Red Border is the area which is part of the Yamuna River Flood Plains and has reportedly been just transferred from the Department of Irrigation (which maintains the Barrage on Yamuna River and essentially the OBP-WLS) of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, India to New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (hereinafter referred to as NOIDA) for the purposes of development.


As can be seen from the Graphic that the Construction Project being undertaken at OBP-WLS threatens its existence and has to be stopped and the area restored to what it was before January 1, 2008 when the construction started.

This petition requests your most immediate intervention to stop the Project and save the OBP-WLS.


THE BIRD LIFE AT OBP-WLS


The area covered under the OBP-WLS and the surrounding flood plains and green belts are part of the Yamuna River Eco-system. Even though the area is small it does have varying habitats Water Bodies, Marshlands, Grasslands and a large number and variety of trees.

These varied habitats attract a large variety of birds to OBP-WLS all through the year. The variety of birds include almost 400 species which have been seen and recorded at this area over the last 60 years or so since the records are available.

The importance of this location can be gauged from the fact that such a large number of species is found in such a small area [representing more than 30 \% (Thirty Percent) of the 1200-1300 species recorded in the Indian Sub-continent]. At the peak time of winter migration at OBP-WLS, the number of birds of all species could be well over 25000 whereas it used be over 100000 before the disturbance to the Yamuna River and the Construction took place all around OBP-WLS, particularly the construction of DND flyover.

Nevertheless, the OBP-WLS continues to attract the significant number of birds and bird-species. This is of global importance being only the second such area to attract over 400 species with the exception of Nairobi that attracts over 800 species.

OBP-WLS attracts Bird Watchers and Photographer from across the World to watch and photograph White-Tailed Stonechat that is endemic to this area.

With proper management and protection measure this has the potential to be among the best Bird Watching areas including Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.


SERIOUS THREAT TO OBP-WLS

This construction is not only posing extremely serious threats to the OBP-WLS but is also illegal since it is being undertaken without proper legal clearances and compliance with the statutory requirements.

Destruction of Habitat:

This construction is an extremely serious threat to the OBP-WLS since it would and has already destroyed to a large extent the green and wooded area that was available to the birds. This area was home to a number of birds, both resident and migratory. Some of the birds seen breeding in this very area contiguous to the OBP-WLS were Indian Golden Oriole, Barbets Coppersmith & Brown-Headed, Minivet Small and Long-tailed, Black-rumped Flameback, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Mynas Common, Bank and Brahminy, Parakeets Rose-Ringed, Plum-Headed and Alexandrine, Black Drongo, White-throated Kingfishers and large number of other passerine birds.

Loss of Breeding:


Complete cycle of Breeding of Indian Golden Oriole (Oriolus kundoo) in the summer of 2007 was recorded and published in the internationally known magazine Srishti, Volume VII, Number VI, pp 32-37. This is a protected species listed in Schedule I of Wildlife Protection of Act of India. And thus, the destruction of its habitat is illegal and punishable.

It is of note to state that the species was unsuccessful in breeding in the summer of 2008 because its habitat was destroyed even after it had started making nests in the general area it did in 2007 and because of the disturbance, dust and the noise arising out of construction.

White-throated Kingfisher, Green Bee-Eaters and other birds too met with exactly a similar fate as with Indian Golden Oriole since their habitat and nesting ground have been destroyed.

Many members of Delhi Bird Group had seen and photographically recorded the breeding of a number of these species In 2007 and earlier but not in 2008.


Loss of Migratory Beacons:


The migratory birds follow Yamuna river as a beacon and then the OBP-WLS with its surrounding area for making a halt and some make a passage halt. The changed landscape would confuse the birds and prevent these from making OBP-WLS as a home for the winter months.

Noise Pollution:

Constant Noise of Construction has already adversely affected the bird life at OBP-WLS. What would happen post construction can only be worse. The fact that the project details have not been divulged and kept in complete secrecy can only substantiate the fact that there would be serious disturbance to bird life at OBP-WLS post construction.

Light Pollution:

The Light pollution can already be felt and would be much worse post completion of the construction project. This would seriously affect the bird life at OBP-WLS. It is a very well known fact that a large number of birds migrate during night for a variety of reasons. The migration of such birds would be seriously affected because of the light pollution that has existed since the beginning of construction and would continue in greater proportion post completion of the Project.


THE ILLEGALITY

The whole project is illegal since it does not comply with the statutory provisions and guidelines laid down by the Environment Laws.

Notification of EIA requirement under Environment Protection Act:

The Project violates the notification dated September 14, 2006 by Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India under sub-rule (3) of Rule 5 of the Environment Protection Rules of the Environment Protection Act 1982. This Notification requires, amongst other provisions, that a Prior Environment Impact Assessment Approval is necessary for any project that is located in whole or in part within 10 Kms from the boundary of 1. Protected Areas notified under the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972 and/or 2. Critically Polluted areas as notified by the Central Pollution Control Boards from time to time, 3. Notified Eco-sensitive areas and 4. Interstate Boundaries and International Boundaries.

The Project as can be seen in the graphic above is contiguous to the Eastern Boundary of OBP-WLS. It is also contiguous to Yamuna, passing through Delhi, which has been declared Critically Polluted by the Central Pollution Control Board and the Project is with in one kilo meter of distance from the Northern boundary at Chilla regulator between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and within two kilo metres of boundary on the west at Sarita Vihar between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Thus, the whole project is being constructed in clear cut violations of the requirements of an EIA.

Wild Life (Protection) Act and Environment Protection Act:

A large majority of Birds at OBP-WLS and in the contiguous area are notified in the Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act. The destruction of the habitat of these birds is in violation of these Act. Hence, the Project is in clear cut violations of these two Acts.


IMMORALITY OF CONSTRUCTION

The information regarding the Project has not been made public despite applications filed and appealed under the Right to Information Act. It has been reported in the media that the project is estimated from Rs. 82 Crores (Crore = 10 Million) to as high a figure of Rs. 300 Crores for construction just to the east of the OBP-WLS. It is also reported that similar development work and projects would be undertaken in the river flood plains up north of OBP-WLS admeasuring over 8000 acres which is under the possession of the Department of Irrigation of Government of Uttar Pradesh. Spending of such huge public money is immoral and belies the trust that is imposed in a Government. Such huge amounts of money could fund education, drinking water, electricity, and road etc project for the larger benefits of the masses rather than on beautification.


PRAYERS

It is humbly prayed that directions are issued to MOEF, Government of India, Government of Uttar Pradesh, NOIDA and Department of Forest, Government of Uttar Pradesh such that the

1. The construction work is totally stopped immediately.
2. The authorities be directed such that the area is restored to their green status, tree covers, unpaved walking and jogging trails as these existed prior to January 2008
3. The officials undertaking such activities be censored and prevented from indulging in such activities in future.
4. Any other directions the Honble Committee may deem necessary to do justice in the matter.





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Latest Signatures

  • 20 dicembre 20151000. Mrigank S
    I support this petition
  • 18 dicembre 2015999. Carol Le
    В
  • 15 dicembre 2015998. Bidisha S
    I support this petition
  • 13 dicembre 2015997. Anirban G
    I support this petition
  • 11 dicembre 2015996. Rubina K
    I support this petition
  • 10 dicembre 2015995. Preeti R
    Birds are as important as us or any other animals. Please stop the construction and save our planet.
  • 09 dicembre 2015994. Roger Hyaml
    Okhla must be saved. It is a vital bird migration staging post.
  • 03 dicembre 2015993. Ahmad Sabihk
    I support this petition
  • 03 dicembre 2015992. Dr Manishg
    I strongly support the petition for OBS filed, we should save the environment for all of us and our generations to come..
  • 02 dicembre 2015991. Anjali C
    I support this petition
  • 01 dicembre 2015990. Jennifer B
    please protect the region
  • 28 novembre 2015989. Ranvir Singht
    Save Earth, Save Worth
  • 26 novembre 2015988. Sarbjit S
    effort much appreciated
  • 26 novembre 2015987. Debasis S
    I support this petition
  • 25 novembre 2015986. Umang D
    I support this petition
  • 23 novembre 2015985. Reshma V
    I support this petition
  • 22 novembre 2015984. Mamta S
    I support this petition
  • 21 novembre 2015983. Gopal B
    We must protect this haven for birds
  • 19 novembre 2015982. Amit N
    I support this petition
  • 19 novembre 2015981. Ritabrata R
    В
  • 19 novembre 2015980. Ritu Goyalh
    Development is hogging our environment and how long before we realise its gravity? I hope the Supreme Court will take cognisance of this petition. All the best to those citizens who are trying to save this ecosystem.
  • 14 novembre 2015979. J Ls
    Among metro cities of the world, Delhi perhaps has more bird life than most. Let us keep it that way.
  • 13 novembre 2015978. Aditi S
    How much more of destruction of biodiversity needs to take place before man realizes he is inviting his death????
  • 12 novembre 2015977. Shiv S
    I support this petition
  • 07 novembre 2015976. Chander S
    We MUST and We MUST save OBP !
  • 03 novembre 2015975. Saraswathi N
    I support this petition
  • 28 ottobre 2015974. Yashwant K
    I support this petition

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Lolita GuerreroBy:
LGTBIn:
Petition target:
CEC of Supreme Court of India on Environment

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