Densely populated areas excluded from revised Thattekad ESZ

The revised Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary by excluding the densely populated areas and incorporating the suggestions mooted by the Central authorities will be submitted next week.

The managers of the sanctuary had to go for the revised plan after the expert committee appointed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change for the declaration of ESZ around protected areas suggesting modification to the proposal.

The protected areas, including wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and tiger reserves were asked to identify and mark the zone from their boundary.

The park managers of Thattekad had suggested an area of 16 sq.km as ESZ with an extent ranging from zero to 1 km from the boundary of the sanctuary. They had also marked ESZ as zero on the eastern and south-eastern side, considering the high-density human habitation on these sides.

Human habitations with high population density have been excluded from the purview of the zone in the revised proposal. There have been persistent demands from from local residents and various organisations to exclude these thickly populated areas, said B. Rahul, the wildlife warden of the sanctuary.

Three water bodies, Palamattam, Koreya and Kurikkulam, which are linked to river Periyar, have been incorporated into the eco sensitive zone of the park as suggested by the expert committee. The three water bodies together would account for 0.52 sq km of area, he said.

Incidentally, the expert committee had asked the park managers to explore the scope of expanding the ESZ extent from zero to a suitable distance on the eastern and south-eastern direction, where water bodies exist.

A digitized map of the ESZ and protected area would also be submitted as demanded by the panel, Mr. Rahul said.

The sanctuary, which is located in Kothamangalam taluk, is home to one of the richest bird habitats in south India.

The important fauna in the sanctuary include slender loris, tiger, leopard, elephant, mouse deer and pangolin. Sloth bear, spiny dormouse, bonnet macaque and jungle cat could also be seen in the sanctuary, according to the documents.

Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 11:01:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/densely-populated-areas-excluded-from-revised-thattekad-esz/article33926894.ece

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