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In UP, no eco-sensitive zone around national parks beyond 100 metres

 Times of India, Delhi, 7th July 2014

 

In UP, the eco-sensitive zone around national parks wildlife sanctuaries does not go beyond 100 metres. The ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) says 10 km around notified protected areas should be marked as an eco-system zone but UP has not proposed marking more than 100 metres as the eco-sensitive zone around 13 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries proposals for which it has already sent to the union ministry. In case of Kachchua wildlife sanctuary in Varanasi, the state has recommended 'zero' metres for eco-sensitive. The problem is where to shift the ghats of Ganga along which the sanctuary runs, say sources.

 

Eco-sensitive zones are meant to create some kind of 'shock absorbers' around national parks and sanctuaries. Besides, it would also act as a transition zone between areas accorded high protected under the Indian Wildlife Act to areas accorded lesser protection. There is a need to create eco-sensitive zones around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to conserve wildlife, reduce man-animal conflict and to improve socio-economic conditions of people living around eco-sensitive zones. In UP, district-level committees have been set up under DMs and commissioners to identify such zones around protected areas.

 

The forest officers are the member secretaries of the committee. The state has 24 wildlife sanctuaries and one national park which is Dudhwa tiger reserve. On Okhla, there is already a debate on with the district level committee first recommending 1km as eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary, and then coming down to 100 metres. The proposals submitted for 12 other protected areas of the state do little justice to union ministry's intention of protecting wildlife in the country.