Chandigarh, February 19
UT chief wildlife warden has asked the UT administration and the MC authorities to switch off the bright light on high poles in the Sector 21 Chandigarh Bird Sanctuary at sunset if those cannot be removed immediately.

Sources in the wildlife department said the chief wildlife warden-cum-director, environment, has written a letter to the deputy commissioner, R.K. Rao, and to the MC commissioner, seeking the removal of lights immediately.

The warden said the installation of these lights was a violation of the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. The chief warden told the authorities concerned that they should switch off the lights with immediate effect.

The chief wildlife warden, Ishwar Singh, said he had taken up the matter with the MC commissioner and asked them to switch off the lights before 8 pm.

Residents of the locality said the action would provide respite to birds which were losing their natural habitat.

As per law, no visitors are allowed to the sanctuary after 8 pm and before 6 am. According to information, the sanctuary spread in 2.9 hectare was notified as a bird sanctuary in 1998. Some of the area came under the adjoining government school, but still it is being regulated under the wildlife Act.

Some residents had demanded the installation of lights in the sanctuary to deter anti-social elements. They had also taken up the issue to de-notify the sanctuary, which was rejected by the wildlife department.

Sources in the department said the lights were installed without taking permission from the department. They said if the authorities kept the lights off, chances were that the birds which had left would return.

Source: Tribune News Service