Buffer zone: Kerala approaches SC seeking relaxation for 23 protected areas 

B Balagopal / Mathrubhumi News

Representational Image | Photo: AFP

New Delhi: The Kerala government on Monday filed an application in the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to join as a party in the Centre’s plea seeking relaxation on the verdict mandating to maintain a buffer zone of 1 km around wildlife sanctuaries and protected national parks in the country.

The state government’s move comes in support of the Centre’s demand seeking relaxation in the implementation of the buffer zone verdict in those areas where the draft and final notifications have been released.

Meanwhile, the Kerala government has handed over the recommendations related to the demarcation of buffer zones around the state’s 17 wildlife sanctuaries and 6 national parks to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The Centre has also issued a draft notification for all these protected areas, except Periyar National Park. A final notification regarding the buffer zone around Mathikettan Shola National Park has also been issued.

Currently, the state has approached the SC seeking relaxation for 23 protected areas.

The central government’s request seeking to revise the order dated June 3, mandating buffer zones, will be considered on January 11. The plea will be heard by a bench chaired by Justice BR Gavai.

The state government expects to resolve people’s concern if the court approves the Centre’s demand in this regard.

Reportedly, the government’s decision to join the petition was taken on the basis of the legal advice from senior advocates. Standing Counsel Nishe Rajan Shonker has filed Kerala's plea in the apex court.

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