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Last Updated : May 08, 2019 07:59 PM IST | Source: PTI

Submit report on eco-sensitive zone finalisation in Western Ghats: NGT to MoEF

The tribunal was hearing a plea alleging that notification of eco-sensitive zone in the Western Ghats has not been finalised despite NGT's direction to complete the exercise within six months.

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to submit a report on finalisation of eco-sensitive zone in the Western Ghats. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the Union Environment Ministry to file the report within a month.

"An undertaking was also noted in the order of this tribunal dated September 8, 2017 that final notification will be issued as expeditiously as possible and in any case within 12 months.

"In view of above, let a report be furnished by the Ministry of Environment and Forests about the status of compliance of the above orders within one month by e-mail at ngt.filing@gmail.com," the bench said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea alleging that notification of eco-sensitive zone in the Western Ghats has not been finalised despite NGT's direction to complete the exercise within six months.

Noting that the ecology of the Western Ghats was under "serious stress", the tribunal had earlier restrained six states falling in the region from giving environmental clearance to activities which may adversely affect the eco-sensitive areas.

The green panel had allowed the MoEF to republish the draft notification of the Western Ghats that lapsed on August 26 last year and asked it to finalise the matter within six months without alterations to the eco-sensitive zone in terms of notification dated February 27, 2017.

The tribunal had said the Western Ghats region is one of the richest biodiversity areas which needs to be conserved.

The draft notification issued by the MoEF had identified area of 56,825 square kilometres spread across six states — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu — as the Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA).

Following protests by various groups and political parties against its recommendations, the government constituted the K Kasturirangan committee to examine the WGEEP report.

Instead of the total area of the Western Ghats, only 37 per cent (i.e. 60,000 sq km) of the total area be brought under the ESA under the Kasturirangan report.
First Published on May 8, 2019 07:50 pm
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