The government has said that a few wetlands in the country have reportedly been impacted due to various developmental activities and urbanization.
As per Environment Ministry, for conservation and management of wetlands, the centrally sponsored scheme – “National Wetland Conservation Programme (NWCP)” was implemented till 2012-13. However, for better synchronization and to avoid overlap the NWCP has been merged with another scheme “National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA)” for holistic conservation of lakes and wetlands. Under NWCP, 115 wetlands in 24 states and two UTs have been identified for conservation and management. So far, the central government has released an amount of Rs 133.64 to the concerned states for undertaking various conservation programmes.
In order to regulate certain activities within the identified wetlands, the government notified the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules in December 2010. At the behest of Environment Ministry, the Space Applications Centre (SAC) Ahmedabad has prepared a National Wetland Inventory Atlas on 1:50,000 scale using Indian Remote Sensing Satellite III data of pre- and post-monsoon seasons during 2006-11.
As per the atlas, there are a total of 7, 57,060 wetlands covering an estimated area of 15.26 million hectare, that is around 4.63% of the geographic area of India.