Residents of Amboori, Kallikkad to protest against ESZ notification

Residents of Amboori and the Kallikkad grama panchayats are set to launch the next phase of their agitation against the proposed move to include parts of the local bodies in the Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) that has been proposed around the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Notwithstanding the State government’s assurances to seek the exclusion of human-inhabited areas, the Amboori ESZ Action Council that has been spearheading the agitation in the local bodies will hold a mass protest in front of the Forest Headquarters here on Tuesday. Former Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala will inaugurate the agitation.

According to action council general convener Jacob Cheerumvelil, both panchayats have been undertaking eco-centric activities for long. The residents of the localities are mostly farmers who exist in harmony with nature.

Alleging that the draft ESZ notification had been prepared on the basis of aerial survey without conducting field inspections, Fr. Cheerumvelil claimed that remote sensing studies that considered data that dated back to 100 years have shown that the forest area in the Neyyar catchment zone has remained unchanged, thereby dispelling allegations of human encroachment into the forest. The land use maps that have been prepared based on satellite imagery showed the proposed ESZ was spread across agricultural and built-up areas.

The action council also stated the region has not permitted any of the activities such as quarrying, sand mining, and red and yellow category industries that would be prohibited in the proposed ESZ. Over 45,000 people resided in the densely-populated panchayats that also had sizeable groups of tribespeople.

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 5:24:46 pm |