Hundreds of people under the aegis of Save Wayanad forum (SWF), a joint initiative of the Wayanad Chamber of Commerce and Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) district committee, took out a march and staged a dharna in front of the Wayanad collectorate on Monday raising a slew of demands including a quick intervention by the Union and State governments against the recent Supreme Court order on Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ).
Speaking after inaugurating the march, Wayanad district panchayat president Samshad Marakkar said that the order had cast a cloud over the lives of hundreds of families, especially the ones living on the fringes of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
“However, the judgment makes provision for the dilution of the minimum width of the ESZ in overwhelming public interest and allows the State government to approach the Central Empowered Committee and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change,” Mr. Marakkar said.
Hence, he said that governments should act quickly to address the issue. “Moreover, they must assuage the anxiety of the public, and consider the possibility of creating legislations to overcome the crisis,” he said.
The protesters also raised demands such as adopting steps to segregate human habitats and forests; revoking restrictions on construction activities on behalf of environmental conservation; exempting habitats and trading centres from ESZ; repealing restrictions on land assignment and Wayanad colonisation scheme. SWF district chairman K.K. Vasudevan presided.