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  • 16 January, 2024

  • 2 Min Read

Pong dam

Recently the draft policy was prepared to declare Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary and the surrounding area an eco-sensitive zone.

  • It is the highest earth-fill dam in India and is one of India’s largest man-made reservoir.
  • Built in1975, named after Maharana Pratap and so called as Maharana Pratap Sagar.
  • Location – Over Beas River in Himachal Pradesh.

Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary – In 1983, the entire reservoir was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary by the state government.

  • It is covered with tropical and subtropical forests.
  • It is the most important fish reservoir in the foothills of the Himalayas.
  • Pong Dam Lake Bird Sanctuary – In 1994, the Government of India declared it a ‘wetland of national importance’ and in 2002, it was declared as a Ramsar Site.
  • Every year more than 100,000 birds migrate here from Central Asia, Mongolia, Siberia and China and it is the largest congregation of the ‘Bar headed geese’.
  • Vulture Cafe – A place where cattle carcasses are made available at one spot, for vultures to ‘feast’ (scavenge) upon them.

Impact of Declaring Pond Dam an ESZ

The National Environment Policy (2006) defined the Eco-Sensitive Zones “as areas/zones with identified environmental resources having incomparable values which require special attention for their conservation” because of its landscape, wildlife, biodiversity, historical and natural values.

Impact – It will impose more restrictions on human activities within a radius of 1-1.5 kilometres of the dam area.

  • It will affect people living within a radius of 116 kilometres in the dam area who does farming around the dam when the water level goes down.
  • Over 25,000 families were displaced by the dam and over 7,000 rehabilitation cases are pending.


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