Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has served notice to the Union Ministry of Environment, state forest departments and Chandigarh administration regarding the step taken for the conservation of wetlands.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Panchkula resident Pooja Dhul, a high court bench comprising of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover has sought response from the Punjab and Haryana government about the initiatives taken for the conservation of wetlands.

Citing the deteriorating condition of Harike and Keshopur wetland, the PIL states that the central and state government is not taking concrete steps for the preservation of ecosystem. Ironically, the problem is serious in Punjab where the wetlands are being used as the dumping ground. Solid waste collected from the city is dumped at the site.

During the trial, petitioner Ravindra Singh said the wetlands are reservoirs of biodiversity and play an important role in maintaining green cover in and around the vicinity. It also helps in the conservation of migratory birds. It is to be noted that there are 25 such sites in the country including Harike, Kanjli and Ropar wetlands in Punjab.

Mentioning the Ramsar International Wetland Conservation Treaty, the High Court asked the state governments to follow the special directives in the treaty.