Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has directed the departments concerned to submit detailed reports on declaring eco-sensitive zones around wildlife sanctuaries on a directive of the Supreme Court.
Addressing a conference convened here on Thursday to discuss the issue, the Chief Minister said the State government would be able to adopt a stand on the matter only if the Water Resources, Public Works, Electricity and Tourism departments gave their proposals. Minister for Forests K.B. Ganesh Kumar and higher officials attended the conference.
The zones were to be declared by the Union government on the recommendations of the State governments. The National Wildlife Board had recommended declaration of areas within 10 km from the boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries as eco-sensitive zones in 2002. However, considering the opposition from various States, it was decided that the distance could be reduced considering the situation in each area.
Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan had told a conference of Chief Wildlife Wardens from the State to submit proposals on declaration of the zones before February 15.