NGT Seeks Centre’s Response on Plea to Designate Jim Corbett National Park as Eco-Sensitive Zone

Jim Corbett National Park

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought the Centre’s response regarding a plea urging the declaration of the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand as an Eco-Sensitive Zone.

The green panel was hearing a plea emphasizing the significance of such a declaration in safeguarding and conserving the ecology, wildlife, biological diversity, and flora and fauna of the national park.

As per the National Environment Policy of 2006, an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) is defined as areas or zones with identified environmental resources possessing incomparable values that necessitate special attention for conservation due to their landscape, wildlife, biodiversity, historical, and natural values.

A bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Expert Member A Senthil Vel stated, “The original application (OA) raises a substantial issue relating to compliance with the environmental norms.”

“In issue notice to the respondents,” the order stated. The respondents include the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, National Board for Wildlife, National Tiger Conservation Authority, Central Empowered Committee (formed by the Supreme Court), and the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh along with their principal chief conservators of forests and the district magistrates concerned.

According to the plea by advocate Nandita Bansal, the ministry issued the Wildlife Conservation Strategy of 2002, categorically stating that land within 10 kilometres of the boundaries of national parks and sanctuaries should be notified as ‘Eco-Fragile Zones’. However, due to the “improper approach” of Uttarakhand, there was no ESZ declaration for the park, the plea stated.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte