The Supreme Court on 10 September 2014 issued notice to the Union and all State governments on a plea to preserve wetland and to restrain construction on such land.
The notice was issued by a SC bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by M K Balakrishnan. In the petition it was mentioned that one third of India’s wetland has been wiped out and 38 percent of which was depleted in the last 10 years.
It was also added that in every state including Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala, massive development, dumping of waste and lack of conservation has threatened some of the finest wetlands of India.
Wetlands are defined as lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic eco-systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water.
The Convention on Wetlands came into force for India on 1 February 1982. India presently has 26 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 689131 hectares.
Wetlands contribute to a healthy environment in many ways like they retain water during dry periods and during periods of flooding, they mitigate floods and trap suspended solids and attached nutrients.
Who: Supreme Court
When: 10 September 2014