- 04 Mar 2020
- 2 min read
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has declared Sukhna lake (Chandigarh) as a living entity recently.
- The court invoked its parens patriae jurisdiction to declare the lake as a legal entity for its survival, preservation and conservation having a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.
- All the citizens of Union Territory, Chandigarh, are hereby declared as loco parentis (in the place of a parent) to save the lake from extinction.
- Sukhna Lake is a rain-fed lake, located within Chandigarh and its catchment area falls both in Punjab and Haryana.
- The lake was constructed in 1958 and is spread over 3 sq km.
- An area of 2 km to 2.75 km around the lake has been declared as an eco-sensitive zone by the Chandigarh Administration.
- All activities in this area fall under provisions of the Environment Protection Act.
- The court has completely banned new construction in the catchment areas falling in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory Chandigarh as well as in the Sukhna Wetland and Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Earlier, Uttarakhand High Court declared the rivers Yamuna and Ganga as legal or juridical persons, enjoying all the rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.
- The HC bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed in 2014 and gave a landmark judgment stating that the Ganga and the Yamuna must be treated as living entities.
Environment Protection Act, 1986
- It empowers the government of India to lay down standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources whatsoever, provided that different standards for emission or discharge may be laid down under this clause from different sources having regard to the quality or composition of the emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from such sources.