Saturday, 8 March 2014

Environment Ministry accepts Kerala Govt recommendations to keep agricultural land, plantations and habitations out of ESAs identified by HLWG

The State Government of Kerala
The Ministry had earlier issued Office Memorandums dated 19th October, 16th November and 20th December, 2013, wherein “in principle” acceptance of the report of the High Level Working Group (HLWG) on Western Ghats was communicated. 

The Ministry is now in the process of issuance of draft Notification which among other things will include the demarcation and boundaries of Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESAs), as identified by the High Level Working Group, seeking comments of various stakeholders.

The State Government of Kerala had constituted an Expert Committee to study the impact of HLWG recommendations and to assess ground level information.

 The State Government also set up Panchayat level Committees in 123 villages falling within ESAs as identified by HLWG for undertaking field verification and interaction with the stakeholders. 

Based on the recommendations of the Expert Committee report, the Kerala State Government suggested certain changes in the demarcations and boundaries of ESAs within the state. 

The State Government is of the view that agricultural lands, plantations and habitations may be kept out of the ESAs.

 Recommendations of the State Government were examined by the MoEF and it has been decided to accept these recommendations in respect of Kerala, regarding ESA boundaries. The draft Notification is being issued by the Ministry incorporating the said modifications.

It has also been decided that the MoEF will consider recommendations of the other States in Western Ghats region based on similar on-ground exercise if such proposals are forwarded to the MoEF within 60 days of issuance of the draft Notification.

Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt of India 

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