The State government has requested the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for more time to receive objections and suggestions to the cadastral-level ESA (Ecologically Sensitive Area) maps published on the website of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB).
The request seeks an extension of 60 days from May 9, the last date prescribed by MoEF to receive complaints on the draft notification redefining the territorial extent of the ESAs in the 123 villages in Kerala identified by the K. Kasturirangan committee for conservation of the Western Ghats. KSBB chairman Oommen V. Oommen said individual complaints had been received since the maps were posted online last week. “Preparing the maps was a time consuming exercise involving panchayat-level committees and various agencies.
Having completed the task just before the expiry of the 60-day period given by MoEF, it is only fair to seek an extension,” Prof. Oommen said.
On Monday, the National Green Tribunal is due to consider the maintainability of the original application filed by the Goa Foundation and others seeking implementation of the Gadgil report.