Thiruvananthapuram: Only ‘necessary’ data collection and land inspection will be carried out by the five-member expert committee tasked with demarcating inhabited areas coming under Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ).
The Committee, which is chaired by Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan, met at Kochi on Monday. It decided to hold an approximative study, i.e., just outlining the area.
At the meeting, the Local Administration Department pointed out that the land inspection with the help of Kudumbashree would take more time and the cost incurred will be higher. The Department of Forests and Environment also took a stand that an estimation study would suffice.
Though the Government had entrusted the Kerala Remote Sensing and Environment Centre (KSREC), the satellite survey by the Centre could not determine the inhabited areas accurately.
The inhabited zones are to be determined in 115 panchayaths. Earlier, the committee had decided to carry out the inspection considering the specialities of the particular region with the help of revenue records. The distance from the forest boundary to the inhabited, and commercial areas is to be specially checked. Direct inspection is a herculean task and it would take months together. Considering this, the move is to carry out an approximation study.
The Committee was constituted by the Kerala Government o determine the inhabited places within the one-kilometre area around protected forests, following the Supreme Court’s direction on June 3. Areas within the 1 km radius are termed Eco-Sensitive Zones or buffer zones.
The next meeting of the Committee is to be held in Kochi on December 11.
Meanwhile, State Forest Minister A K Saseendran said that he has given directions to expedite the process of data collection and land inspection.
KSREC report by Dec 11
The summary of the report prepared by KSREC would be published by December 11 on the State’s official website. The details of the structures, including the Panchayath and Village level survey numbers and maps, would be handed over to the Panchayaths. It would also be made available to the media.
The details of any building structure not found listed in the documents in the report must be informed by mail to email@example.com or by post to the Joint Secretary, Forests and Wildlife Department, 5th Floor, Secretariat Annex (2), Thiruvananthapuram, PIN: 695001, latest by December 23.
The information received in this manner would be examined with the help of Kudumbashree. It would be presented before the Committee for further proceedings by January 14, 2023.