Published: Friday 15 March 2002

Acting on a petition, the Gujarat High Court has issued notices to the forest department on the Gopalpur lake controversy. The petitioner challenged the constitution of the state wildlife advisory board, which is not in conformity with the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It was pointed out that the appointments of the 10 board members were not in accordance with section 6 (H) of the act.

The petition said that the board's decision to declare Gopalpur lake -- a migratory bird haven near Kalol -- as a sanctuary was not feasible economically or administratively. It contended that unauthorised construction was being carried out in the area in violation of court directives. The state government had not taken necessary steps to ensure the proper upkeep of the lake, the plea alleged.

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