Forest Minister A.K. Saseendran has said the State government would move the Supreme Court without delay in seeking a review of its order to establish a 1-km eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the protected areas.
While the government had mulled a review of its stance, it was ultimately decided not to keep the move in abeyance.
Rounding off the discussion on the demands for grants for the Forest department in the Budget in the Assembly on Monday, Mr. Saseendran said the government had considered a relook in its strategy after considering the growing unrest against the order in various parts of the country especially the north-eastern States. However, the government chose not to wait for other States to take an initiative, he pointed out.
Mr. Saseendran informed the Assembly that Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav had highlighted the mounting anxiety in various parts of country during their meeting in New Delhi two days ago.
Mr. Saseendran also presented copies of the resolution passed by the Assembly and the State’s recommendations during the visit.
The Forest Minister said the department had envisaged a ₹620-crore project to mitigate the man-animal conflict over five years. It involved various measures, including erecting elephant fences, elephant proof trenches, solar power fences, hanging solar power fences and bio-fences. The other components include warning systems to prevent conflicts and new forest stations to intensify surveillance.
The department is also focussing on developing natural wild plantations, and conserving streams and constructing bunds to ensure constant water availability.
Mr. Saseendran also said the Puthur Zoological Park in Thrissur and the Elephant Rehabilitation Park in Kottoor, Thiruvananthapuram, will be made fully operational this fiscal.