New Delhi | The government has come out with a fresh draft notification to declare Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ) in Western Ghats by superseding the earlier one. The fresh draft notification was issued on September 4, the Environment Ministry said even as it invited objections and suggestions from the public within the next 60 days.
However, it clarified that the extent of Ecologically Sensitive Area and the other provisions stated in the earlier draft notification of last year remain unchanged pending the finalisation of proposals from the states of demarcation of ESA by physical verification. The Ministry also said that the lives of about 50 million people living in Western Ghats region will not be affected, in the wake of apprehensions on the same.
The fresh notification supersedes the earlier one issued on March 10 last year and the earlier notification was applicable till September 5. It can be noted that two out of the six states falling in the region – Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are yet to submit their physical verification report.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that while his government is committed to protecting the ecology and sanctity of Western Ghats, it is also determined to ensure sustainable development of the population staying in the region. In order to clarify provisions stated in the draft notification and to dispel the apprehensions and concerns raised by the stakeholders with respect to provisions of the draft notification… …and the concept of Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA), the Ministry has decided in public interest to supersede the earlier draft notification with a fresh draft notification addressing these concerns and apprehensions, an official statement said.
This comes days after Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy urged Javadekar to accept the revised Eco Sensitive Areas (ESA) in his state even as the proposed final notification of the recommendation of the Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats ended today.
Environment Ministry today said that the earlier draft notification was issued under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for declaring Ecologically Sensitive Area in the Western Ghats covering Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
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