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Centre to reconsider ESZ notification

The Hindu, Dehradun, 14th January, 2015


Kavita Upadhyay


 The Centre has agreed to reconsider the December 18, 2012 eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) notification according to which a 100-km stretch of the Bhagirathi from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi— covering an area of 4,179.59 sq km— was to be declared as eco-sensitive.


A team headed by Uttarakhand Chief Secretary N. Ravi Shanker met Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday in New Delhi and requested the Centre to withdraw the ESZ notification.


Mr. Ravi Shanker, on Wednesday, said: “We requested the Central government to withdraw the ESZ notification as we already have the Bhagirathi River Valley Development Authority in Uttarkashi district constituted in the year 2005 that serves the purpose of the ESZ notification, which is that of maintaining ecological balance and sustainable development.”


Mr. Ravi Shanker said that in response to the State’s request, Mr. Misra has asked the Environment Ministry to reconsider the notification.


The delegation also raised the issues of stalled hydroelectric power projects in the State. “We stated the environmental issues around hydroelectric power projects that are obstructing the development of the State. Almost all under-construction hydro-power projects in the State are stalled, at present,” Mr. Ravi Shanker said.