Thiruvananthapuram: It has now come to light that a state cabinet meeting held in 2019 October decided to adopt a 1 km buffer zone surrounding the protected forest areas in state. A press release of the meeting discloses the decision made by the state government.
The meeting addressed measures taken to avoid environmental disasters in the state. It was approved in principle a draft notification directive to designate up to one kilometre around protected areas, including human settlements adjacent to protected forests and national parks, as eco-sensitive areas.
The press release also states that the Supreme Court, which has set a limit of a one-kilometre buffer zone, should accept relaxations in this regard. The chief minister had then written to the Prime Minister asking for a favourable decision.
Earlier, SC directed that each protected forest, including national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, must have an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of one kilometre and ban mining activities within such parks across the nation. With this, no construction and mining activities will be allowed in the eco-sensitive zones.