Govt excludes residential areas, farmlands from ESZ; issues order


Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government here on Wednesday issued an order excluding residential areas and farmlands from the one-kilometre-wide Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ). As per the order, government, semi-government and public institutions within the one-kilometre radius around protected forest ranges are also excluded from this buffer zone.

With this, the state government’s order regarding the Eco-Sensitive Zone issued in 2019 will be declared null.

In 2019, the Kerala government issued an order directing to identify areas within the one-kilometre radius around protected forest ranges as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (buffer zone).

When the state government submitted the recommendations in this order to the centre, various sectors raised a demand to exclude residential areas from the Eco-Sensitive Zone. Amidst this, in June the Supreme Court issued an order identifying places including residential areas within the one-kilometre radius around protected forests as Eco-Sensitive Zone. This order triggered huge protests across the state.

The Kerala government amended its 2019 order as part of its decision to approach the apex court requesting to exempt inhabited areas from the Eco-Sensitive Zone.

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