NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to declare “at the earliest” 10 km area around 21 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the country as Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) to protect wild birds and animals.
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) notifies areas close to National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries as ESZ, aimed at creating “shock absorbers” for protected animals and birds by regulating and managing activities there.
It can direct that certain industries and operations are not carried out, or subjected to safeguards, in ESZs.
A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur, Deepak Gupta and Hemant Gupta was informed that there were 662 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the country, and state governments and Union Territories administrations have not even moved any proposal to the Centre for declaring Ears in 21 such areas.
“Under the circumstances, we direct that an area of 10 Kms around these 21 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries be declared as Eco-Sensitive Zone by the MoEF. The declaration be made by the MoEF at the earliest. (AGENCIES)