Sambhar Festival: NGT Directs Rajasthan To Examine Adverse Impact On Environment 

| Updated: February 15, 2023 6:45 pm

The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday ordered the authorities in Rajasthan to address the grievance regarding the proposed three-day Sambhar festival adversely impacting migratory birds and their natural habitat.

The tribunal also directed the authorities, including the Rajasthan chief secretary, to shift the festival’s location if such a harmful effect is found.

The green panel was hearing a plea that alleged that the festival’s activities, including kite flying, paragliding and motorcycle expedition, would “adversely affect migratory birds and natural habitat of the lake which is a Ramsar site, particularly on account of the use of loudspeakers”.

The festival is scheduled to take place at Sambhar Lake near Jaipur from February 17 to 19.

The bench of chairperson Justice AK Goel said “We find it necessary to direct the chief secretary, Rajasthan, to address the grievance in coordination with State Wetland Authority, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), district magistrate, Jaipur, and integrated regional office of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change at Jaipur”

The bench, also comprising Judicial Members Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi and Expert Member Afroz Ahmad, said if it is found that the festival at the proposed location will adversely impact the birds or the lake’s natural habitat, the festivities may be shifted to any other site.

“Decision in the matter may be taken and placed on the website of the state by 5 pm on February 16…,” the bench stated. The green panel also directed for a copy of the order to be sent to the authorities concerned.

The proposed three-day Festival aims to promote tourism in the state of Rajasthan. Sambhar Festival is co-organized by the Jaipur district administration and the state tourism department.

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