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Legislation sought to overcome SC order on eco-sensitive zones – Mrit News

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Political parties are mounting pressure on the Centre seeking legislation to overcome the recent Supreme Court order which held that every protected forest, national park, and wildlife sanctuary in the country should have a mandatory eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of a minimum of 1 km starting from their demarcated boundaries.

A meeting of the LDF district committee decided to raise a human wall at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Sulthan Bathery town raising a slew of demands to make legislation to overcome the directive, committee convener C.K. Saseendran told The Hindu.

Close to 40% of the total area of the district is forest land, and the recent apex court order would adversely impact tourism, agriculture, and industry, Mr. Saseendran said.

The order put common people in crisis, as they cannot construct even a house within the EZS. Besides, it placed restrictions on opening new industries in the district, he said .

The order will also adversely affect the ongoing voluntary relocation project of the Ministry of Forest and Environment inside the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, he said, adding that the LDF would launch an indefinite agitation on the day raising a slew of demands, including legislation to fix ‘0-km ESZ’ on forest boundaries.

Meanwhile, UDF district convenor N.D. Appachan said the apex court order would affect thousands of families. A major portion of fertile land in the State is in the buffer zone area, and it is suspected that the order would impact thousands of farmers. Hence, the State and Central governments should convince the court of the grassroots-level realities, he said.

“If convincing the court is a time-consuming affair, the Centre should make legislation to overcome the order,” Mr. Appachan said. If the Central and State governments fail to resolve the issue in a time-bound manner, the UDF will launch an indefinite agitation, Mr. Appachan warned.

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