Kerala govt decides to exclude residential areas, farmland from eco-sensitive zone

04:41 PM Jul 27, 2022 | PTI |

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Wednesday decided to exclude residential and agricultural areas as well as government, semi-government and public institutions from the one-kilometre-wide eco-sensitive zone (ESZ).


The decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting held during the day, a release from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.

It said that taking into account the objections received against a Central government draft notification which included residential areas around 23 wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the State, the Cabinet decided to approve the Forest Department’s proposal to exclude such areas, agricultural land, and the various public institutions from the ESZ.

The Forest and Wildlife Department’s proposal has also been forwarded to the Centre.

Later, State Forest Minister A K Saseendran told reporters that with the latest Cabinet decision, the earlier one regarding the ESZ or buffer zones would cease to exist.


He said the Forest and Wildlife Department has been tasked with taking the matter forward, including moving the Supreme Court, after holding discussions with the Advocate General.

The top court had, on June 3, pronounced the verdict to create a one-km eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around all wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, which is generally considered to affect the normal life of people living in such areas of the southern State for decades.

The Kerala Legislative Assembly had earlier this month unanimously passed a resolution requesting the Centre to exempt inhabited places and agricultural lands in the State while implementing the one-km wide eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around forests and sanctuaries as directed by the Supreme Court.

Besides the buffer zone issue, the Cabinet meeting today decided to also grant administrative approval to the construction of an educational complex in Pinarayi village of Kannur district, the release said.

The complex would be spread over a 12.93-acre land and would be constructed with funding from KIIFB, it said.

Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL) would be appointed as a special purpose vehicle for the construction work which would be coordinated by the Institute of Human Resources Development, the CMO release said.

Another important decision taken by the Cabinet was to approve the 100 million euro funding from French bank AFD for the resilient Kerala developmental programme to be implemented under the rebuild Kerala initiative, the release said.


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