SC agrees to consider relaxations to buffer zone order

B Balagopal/Mathrubhumi News

Photo: P Jayesh

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday stated that it would consider relaxing the proposed eco-sensitive zones surrounding protected forests that are part of the draft notification. The court was considering the pleas of the union and Kerala governments seeking revision of its previous order on the matter.

On June 3, 2022, the court ordered a 1-km buffer zone to be established. Activities will be restricted in the area to protect forest coverage. This had triggered widespread protests in the state since Kerala has a large number of population in the proposed buffer zone area. Kerala and the union governments then approached the apex court pointing to practical issues in implementing the order. The court had earlier acknowledged the difficulties.

Senior advocate Jayadeep Gupta sought relaxations for locations included in the draft and final notifications in Kerala. SC noted that the locations in the final notification already have relaxations in place. The demand for relaxations for places in the draft notification will be considered on Monday.

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The advocates also informed the court that people are panicking and the order will even affect the functioning of Kerala High Court since the building is close to Mangalavanam sanctuary.

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