By Accommodation Times Bureau
The Supreme Court has asked the centre to inform it about the status of funds disbursed by them to the states, for preservation of wetlands and also an account of how these have been spent by the states. “This wetlands issue deserves much serious attention. If there are no wetlands left, it will affect agriculture and several other things. It is a very, very important issue,” the bench, headed by justice Madan B Lokur, and also comprising justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, told the counsel appearing for the centre.
A wetland is a marshy land area, like swamps or mangroves that, permanently or seasonally has water, and which could claim a distinct ecosystem. The government informed the top court that the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, have been notified and it is must to replace the earlier set of guidelines, which came into effect in 2010.
Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for petitioner MK Balakrishnan, said that several states have not complied with the court’s direction, to inform the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change about the amounts received by them towards wetlands preservation, along with the audit reports and impact of the expenditure incurred by them.