Environmentalists protest against dust pollution at Surajpur wetland

From ET Realty

NOIDA: At a time when the builders of Noida and Greater Noida are facing the ire of the district administration and Noida authority over dust pollution at construction sites, environmental activists have documented photographs of the Surajpur wetland with massive dust rising out of its grounds. Photographs of trees cut within the premises of the wetlands have also been shared.

“The condition of the forest area of the Surajpur wetland is dismal. It is dug up, heavy vehicles are plying on it; the air is thick with dust. Trees are being cut. The entire ecology of the area is under threat. We think such heavy pollution in a forest area will not only affect the bird-life in the wetland, but will create huge losses to the environment as well,” Vikrant Tongad, founder of Social Action for Forests and Environment said.

Explaining the cause of the dust pollution, District Forest Officer of Gautam Budh Nagar, KK Singh said, “We had to construct a bund to raise the water levels of the wetland area as the water level is falling, so a minimum amount of construction is needed. This is a forest location and we do not have provisions like a building to sprinkle water.”

The Surajpur wetland has been under an extensive renovation programme as it falls under the state government’s eco-park project. The forest department has been running a replantation drive within the premises of the Surajpur wetland area for over last one year.

“The Surajpur wetlands falls under restricted forest area, so there are lots of limitations on what we can do within the premises. There are certain actions necessary for retaining the water in the wetland; controlling the dust within the wetland doesn’t fall under our responsibilities,” NP Upadhyay, forest ranger, Surajpur wetlands said.

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