ESZ norms | Kerala to file review petition in SC; LDF to observe hartal in Idukki tomorrow

Search on for next forest dept chief, 5 IFS officers in the reckoning

Thiruvananthapuram: The State Government has decided to file a review/amendment petition on July 12 with regard to the recent Supreme Court order mandating 1 km ecologically sensitive zones (ESZs) around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

The decision was taken at the high-level meeting called by Forest Minister A K Saseendran to discuss the follow-up action to ensure the exclusion of residential areas from ESZs.

The minister said that there was no change in the State Government's earlier stand that the ESZs should be fixed only after excluding the populated areas.

The State Government aims to get relaxation from the strict implementation of the new ESZ norms by submitting a new proposal to the Union Ministry of the Environment and Forest, and the Central Empowered Committee by excluding populated areas as per the paragraph 44(f) of the Supreme Court order.

Necessary amendments will also be made in the list of ESZs submitted to the Central Government earlier by the State Government.

The Minister said the State Government would give a detailed submission before the Supreme Court regarding the construction activities, which are going on in the areas.

Advocate General K Gopalakrishna Kurup, Supreme Court Standing Counsel Nishi Rajan, Special Government Pleaders S Kannan and Anil, and Forest Department head Bennichan Thomas attended the high-level meeting.

LDF, UDF call for hartal

Both the LDF and the UDF have called for a one-day hartal in Idukki district in protest against the designation of thickly populated areas as ecologically sensitive zones.

The LDF called for hartal on June 10 from 6 am to 6 pm while the UDF hartal will be on June 16 from 6 am to 6 pm.




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