SC Asks Centre To Mark 'Eco-Sensitive Zones' Around National Parks

The National Parks in India are categorised under Protected Zones. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) N...

The National Parks in India are categorised under Protected Zones. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Norms, they come under the 'Category II'. Our increasing numbers of National Parks over the years, the Government has decided to come up with a protective law, 'Wildlife Protection Act' in 1972 and 'Project Tiger' for the royal species. The Supreme Court asks the Centre to demarcate areas around these as 'Eco-Sensitive Zones'.


The Supreme Court's pleas were not new to the Central Government. It has been pending for 12 long years. Directing an area of 10 km around 21 of the 104 National Parks as Eco-sensitive Zones was the demand made by the Supreme Court to the Union Environmental Ministry.


A Judicial Bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur took this initiative in the form of 'Amicus Curiae'. That is a plea submitted to the court from people who are not directly involved in the action but are perturbated about it. In their amicus curiae, they have informed to the Supreme Court that the related State Governments negligent.


The responsibility of the State Governments with respect to the local National Parks and protection of areas in and around it is jeopardised. There were no efforts put forth in their care and protection of the sanctuaries. This plea and issue have been pending for 12 years and no responsibility is shown by the respective State Governments.


According to the Chapter IV of Wildlife Protection Act 1972, the Ministry of Environment and Forests have formulated these directions regarding the National Parks. " an area, whether within a sanctuary or not, that can be notified by the State Government to be constituted as a National Park, by reason of its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, or zoological association or importance, needed to for the purpose of protecting & propagating or developing wildlife therein or its environment".


In addition to the above, the conditions continue saying, "No human activity is permitted inside the national park except for the ones permitted by the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state under the conditions given in Chapter IV of the WPA,1972".


The Court Thus ordered the Centre to make a decision 'at the earliest' pertaining to the 'eco-sensitive' matter. Any plea or modification to be made to the plea by the bench must be notified within Two Weeks by the respective State Governments. And submitted to the Environment Ministry. Next hearing in February.


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All India Daily: SC Asks Centre To Mark 'Eco-Sensitive Zones' Around National Parks
SC Asks Centre To Mark 'Eco-Sensitive Zones' Around National Parks
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