Centre warns MP government on eco-sensitive zone around national parks
BHOPAL: The Union ministry of Environment and Forests
(MoEF) has warned the Madhya Pradesh government on the issue of declaration of
eco-sensitive and eco-fragile zone around sanctuaries and national parks. It
has also given a last opportunity to the state government to file proposals in
this regard by February 15, 2013.
The ministry has warned that if the state
failed to file the proposals by February 15, the guidelines of the ministry (of
February 2011) related to prohibition on development/construction and mining
activities in 10-km range of all national parks and sanctuaries, would come
into force automatically.
Documents obtained through right to information
(RTI) show that following the letter of MoEF, the state forest department has
sent proposals of only 17 national parks and sanctuaries to the state
environment and housing department for further action and forwarding to the
The proposals of other 18 national parks and
sanctuaries, including two national fossil parks in Mandla and Dhar, are
Environment and RTI activist Ajay Dubey, who
obtained the documents, has alleged that the proposals are kept deliberately
pending to benefit the mining activities in these areas and has demanded that
proposals of all the national parks and sanctuaries in state should be sent to
MoEF for declaration of eco-sensitive zones.
RTI documents show that in a letter sent to the
chief secretary R Parasuram in December (2012), the secretary of MoEF V
Rajgopalan has said the issue has been pending since 2002, when the wildlife
conservation strategy 2002 was adopted by Indian Wildlife Board. Through this
strategy, 10-km zone around all national parks and sanctuaries were declared
The MoEF decided on declaring site-specific
eco-sensitive zones in 2005 and asked states to submit site-specific proposals
at the earliest, but the states have been dithering ever since.