‘ESZ around Kudremukh National park will not affect life’

There will be no displacement of residents or change in land ownership: Udupi district administration

August 18, 2020 11:50 pm | Updated 11:50 pm IST - MANGALURU

The Thunga river inside Kudremukh National Park at Sunkadamakki Village near Nemmar, Chikkamagaluru district.

The Thunga river inside Kudremukh National Park at Sunkadamakki Village near Nemmar, Chikkamagaluru district.

The administration has said that declaring areas within 1 km from the border of Kudremukh National Park spread in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, and Chikkamagaluru districts as Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) will not affect the life of residents inside the identified areas.

An official release from the Udupi district administration here said there would be no displacement of residents or change in land ownership. Residents can continue to conduct agricultural activities with revenue and patta lands continuing to remain the same.

Public amenity infrastructure, including roads, power lines, drinking water lines, bridges etc., were not banned activities inside the ESZ, the administration has said. It said the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) had declared areas around the Kudremukh National Park as ESZ under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 on July 2.

The administration said the national park was regarded as the natural overhead tank as it was the birthplace of major rivers, Tunga, Bhadra, Netravathi etc. The park has rich flora and fauna, including evergreen forests, Shola lands, Lion-tailed Macaque and other endangered species of animals.

Declaration of ESZ was aimed at protecting the park from unbridled commercial activities including industrialisation and was not aimed at local communities, the administration clarified. It was intended to prevent damage to the ecology in and around the park and to help reduce man-animal conflicts. The move would also help local population to preserve their valuable water sources. It would prevent human-induced landslips, reduce pollution of air, water and soil thereby helping people to lead quality life.

However, commercial mining, stone quarrying, new sawmills, opening hazardous industries, handling dangerous goods, erecting major hydel power plants and such other activities were banned inside the ESZ, the administration noted.

The government would introduce zonal management for this region by preparing a Zonal Master Plan in consultation with NGOs, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, environment experts and people’s representatives from Mudigere, Karkala, Belthangady and Sringeri Assembly constituencies. The jurisdiction of the ESZ would be limited to the bear minimum requirement in consultation with the local residents.

The ESZ border was fixed for 1 km from the border of the national park instead of the earlier proposed 10 km, according to the park’s Deputy Conservator of Forests, Karkala.

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