ESZ demarcation: Concerns raised over map submitted by Kerala govt

Photo: P Jayesh

Kottayam: Experts continue to hold apprehensions over the map released by the Kerala government concerning the 1 km buffer zone surrounding the eco-sensitive-zones. The questions are raised over whether the 2020-21 map released by the government and the one updated with the survey number will comply with Supreme Court guidelines.

According to the Supreme Court's order, the government is tasked with identifying inhabited areas inside a 1 km buffer zone. However, it is unsure whether Supreme Court will agree to the map submitted by the government omitting areas having human occupancy.

In June, the Supreme Court directed that a buffer zone of one kilometre be maintained around forests and sanctuaries across the country. Challenging this, both the Centre and the Kerala government had filed review pleas in the apex court.

It is worth noting that the SC order mandates that only the court has the power to grant any concessions, including the exclusion of residential areas from the buffer zone.

Major concerns raised by critics

The government decided to use the 2020-21 map as a substitute to compensate for the flaws in the map prepared through satellite survey. However, the 2020-21 map excludes areas from the buffer zone. There is concern that residents outside the one-kilometre limit -- as per the 2020-21 map -- may face consequences in the future if no complaints were lodged before the government.

KIFA (Kerala Independent Farmers Association), a farmers organization, points out that the map prepared prior to the SC order in June will be invalid. Therefore, they raise the question of whether the SC will entertain the 2020-21 map.

Shouldn't the three maps be combined to make a flawless map and submit it for publication? Can it be submitted before the court only after this? Will there be enough time for a correction?

Isn't it more effective to prepare a clear map in the respective districts with the help of the survey department and deliver it to the panchayats?

Add Comment
Related Topics

Get daily updates from

Disclaimer: Kindly avoid objectionable, derogatory, unlawful and lewd comments, while responding to reports. Such comments are punishable under cyber laws. Please keep away from personal attacks. The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of readers and not that of Mathrubhumi.