Representational Image | Photo: Mathrubhumi archives
Kottayam: A technical panel headed by chief secretary will examine the report on the eco-sensitive zone before submitting it to the Supreme Court of India.
The expert panel will hand over the report to the state government within a week. Only a report free from errors will be submitted to the Supreme Court, said Minister for Forest, AK Saseendran.
The report of the expert panel consists of details regarding the residential areas, business establishments and other buildings, and agricultural lands in the one kilometre buffer zone area recommended by the Supreme Court around the protected forests in the country.
Kerala Congress secretary Stephen George opined that the supervision of ministers or the party leadership is mandatory to avoid lapses in the report. The party had criticised the government for entrusting the matters related to the buffer zones solely to the forest department. Minister for Revenue K Rajan recommended to forward the report to the SC only after completing a close scrutiny under the ministerial and administrative leadership. The government policy has been to exclude residential areas and agricultural land from the ambit of the eco sensitive zone.
Minister Saseendran said that the government will be keen to present the issues at the SC along with submitting an accurate report. For this, the state government has submitted a separate petition, in addition to joining a party with the union government’s petition seeking revision of the 2022 verdict on ESZ.
It will be a relief to the state government if the Supreme Court allows relaxations for the wild life sanctuaries waiting for the final notifications.