Order of the National Green Tribunal on whether the colleges of HIT and AEC are within the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 09/04/2019

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Umashankar Patwa & Others Vs Union of India & Others (Earlier titled as D.K. Joshi Vs. Union of India & Ors.) dated 09/04/2019. The question for consideration is whether Hindustan Institute of Technology & Management, Agra (HIT) and Anand Engineering College, Agra (AEC) are within the Wildlife Sanctuary notified by the State of Uttar Pradesh as “Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary” vide Notification dated 27.03.1991 in District Agra, under Section 18 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. If it is within the Wildlife Sanctuary, restrictions under Section 27 will apply and the setting up of the said colleges itself may be questionable.

A status report was submitted by a Committee coordinated by the Chief Wild Life Warden, Uttar Pradesh stating that the colleges in question are within the notified boundary of the Sanctuary. During the course of hearing, a map has been shown which has two boundaries. The blue boundary demarcates 403.09 ha area and the black boundary demarcates the boundary of the Sanctuary.

NGT directs MoEF&CC to submit a report within two months clarifying on the following issuues:

i. Whether the restriction under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 will apply to the entire area, including the area beyond 403.09 ha indicated by blue line.

ii. Whether any restriction applies to the area outside the protected area of ‘403.09 ha’. This question may also require consideration of safety zone or buffer zone adjacent to the Bird Sanctuary. 

iii. Further question will be regulation of other structures or activities falling in the proposed ESZ and the mitigation steps required and proposed.