New Delhi: Efforts are on to implement the Supreme Court order on eco-sensitive zones (ESZ) without affecting the environment or hampering development, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav said.
Kerala's concerns would be considered before fixing the buffer zones around wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, he said in an interview with Malayala Manorama.
The government has been seeking a middle path that would protect both the environment and development while demarcating ESZs, the minister added. One would not be compromised for the sake of the other, but means would be found to balance both.
ESZ would be declared in consultation with -- and taking into account the recommendations of -- the States, Yadav said.
More talks would be held with Kerala before notifying ESZ. The Centre has closely examined the State's concerns. The minister said the Centre had not received any letter from the chief minister of Kerala recently on the issue.
The deadline for the draft notification declaring ecologically sensitive areas (ESA) in the Western Ghats has been extended for one more year. The notification was to be finalised by June 30.
The Centre would discuss the ESA draft notification with the chief secretary of Kerala and other officials on Monday (July 11). Talks would be held with other States, including Tamil Nadu, as well, the minister said.
Yadav said the proposed ESA areas where restrictions would be imposed would have to be visited. All issues Kerala had raised would be considered, the minister assured.
Kerala Assembly passes resolution on ESZ
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution to demand the Centre to exclude human habitats, farmlands and public institutions located in the close vicinity of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks from eco-sensitive zones.
The resolution was passed considering the common interest of the State.
The Assembly in its resolution urged the Union government to frame new laws, if necessary, to exclude human habitats from buffer zones.
The resolution, introduced by Minister for Forests A K Saseendran pointed out that the implementation of the Supreme Court order for creating ESZs in a one-kilometre radius around wildlife sanctuaries and national parks would badly affect the normal life of people.
The apex court had on June 3 ordered to declare all areas within a kilometre around protected areas as ESZs.