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Two college buildings sealed near Agra

Posted on Sep 27, 04:22PM | IANS

Two buildings of an engineering college close to the Soor Sarovar bird sanctuary near Agra have been sealed for illegal construction.

Deputy Wildlife Conservator Sujoy Banerjee told IANS that the Anand Engineering College had been given three weeks to move out of the buildings. The buildings had been sealed Monday.

"We found they were violating the provisions of the wildlife act and had not taken permission (for the buildings)," he said.

Banerjee told IANS that construction work in the college premises on the Delhi-Agra highway had continued despite earlier notices.

Construction of any building is regulated close to a bird sanctuary. And no high-mast lights can be installed lest they disturb the nesting birds.

Officials told IANS that Anand Engineering College had violated both Supreme Court and the Indian Board for Wildlife guidelines.

The college had been served several notices before the final action, officials said.

Earlier in January, Anand as well as Hindustan Engineering College were served notices and fined Rs.10 crore.

The Uttar Pradesh forest department had objected to unauthorized buildings coming up near the reserved forest, about 20 km from Agra.

Divisional Forest Officer N.K. Janu had told IANS: "Effluents and wastes were being directly released into the Keitham reservoir and found them contaminating the whole water body."

"They have put up high-mast lights which disturb the birds. We have sent out notices and asked for immediate remedial measures. Besides, a fine of Rs.10 crore has been imposed," he had said.

The notices were first sent a decade ago but no action was taken to stop the pollutants from entering the water body in the heart of the reserve forest.

The lake is surrounded by a bird sanctuary, a python point, dense forest and world's biggest rescue centre for sloth bear.