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Green ministry to give new lease of life to Goa wildlife sanctuaries in 2014 (Nov)

The Times of India, New Delhi, 1st November, 2013
Correspondent : Vishwa Mohan,
NEW DELHI: Mining and other human activities will be completely banned around four of the six wildlife sanctuaries in Goa from early next year.
Areas around remaining two protected areas - Netravali and Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuaries - will, however, see such activities for some more time as Goa government has been given 5 to 10 years to phase down mining within the existing leased zones.
Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) on Thursday made concerned 'draft' notifications for each of the six protected areas public, specifying buffer areas around the six sanctuaries as Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) within which the mining and other activities will eventually be banned.
The notification specified that the ESZ will be for three kilometers all along the periphery of Cotigao wildlife sanctuary's boundary. In the case of five other sanctuaries, the ESZ will, however, be for one kilometer all along the periphery of their existing natural boundaries.
The ministry, through the draft notification, came out with detailed lists of villages around the six wildlife sanctuaries which will be covered for banning existing mining of minor and major minerals, stone quarrying and crushing units.
The ban order would come into force on or after the expiry of a period of sixty days from the date on which the final notification is issued. It is expected that the gazette notification to this effect will be issued soon, making it possible for the government to bring its order into force from January, 2014. Accordingly, mining will be completely stopped around Cotigao, Bondla, Dr Salim Ali and Madei sanctuaries after around two months. However in cases of Bhagwan Mahaveer and Netravali, the existing mining would be phased out on the basis of state government's plans.
"The existing mining leases (major or minor minerals) shall be phased out in a time bound manner (five or ten years) subject to the final orders of Supreme Court of India," said the notification on Bhagwan Mahaveer and Netravali Wildlife Sanctuaries.
The ministry will soon constitute state level ESZ Monitoring Committee (SESZMC) to monitor the compliance of the notification for Goa. The Committee will comprise of chief secretary of the state as the chairman.
There will be also be representatives of environment ministry, State Pollution Control Board, NGO (nominated by state government on environment) and community based organizations among others in the monitoring panel. The Committee will have to submit the annual action taken report of its activities by March 31 every year to the central ministry.
Besides seeking suggestions from general public and experts over the proposal contained in the draft notification, the ministry has asked the Goa government to prepare a Zonal Master Plan within a period of two years which would be considered and approved by the ministry for effective management of the ESZ. The state government has been asked to consult local people thoroughly before preparing the Zonal Master Plan.