Uttarakhand Cabinet passes resolution against eco-sensitive zone notification

Published - December 28, 2014 06:23 pm IST - Dehradun

Uttarakhand Cabinet, on Sunday, passed a resolution to request the Central government to withdraw its December 18, 2012 notification, according to which a 100-km stretch of the Bhagirathi river from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi (covering an area of 4,179.59 sq km) was to be declared as eco-sensitive.

 Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s media in-charge Surendra Agarwal said, “A delegation will soon meet the Prime Minister and the Environment Minister proposing the withdrawal of the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) notification.”

 “An all-party-meet would also be organised to gather support for withdrawal of the notification,” Mr. Agarwal added.

 The State government was never keen on implementing the notification as they considered it to be anti-development. At present, political parties including the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, with the support of the locals, have come together to get the notification scrapped.

 Protests by locals in the area notified under the ESZ range are gaining momentum as they fear that the 88 villagers that come under the notified area would suffer in the development front if the notification is implemented.


The notification opposes industrial development activities in the ESZ. It also prohibits setting up of new hydro-electric power projects, mining, commercial felling of trees and setting up of polluting industries.

 Mr. Agarwal said, “The ESZ notification is against the interest of the State. Implementation of the notification would bring all the developmental activities in the 100-km stretch to a halt.”

 The State’s concern is that implementing the notification will affect 16 hydro-electric power projects, with a capacity of 1,743 MW, that fall in the notified zone.

 While the political parties are stating the public resentment against the notification, the environmentalists are of the view that the locals are unaware that the notification is not anti-development.

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