Over 30% of India’s protected area has been covered under the final ecologically sensitive zone (ESZ) notification, the Environment Ministry informed the Lok Sabha.
Replying to a query raised in the Lower House of Parliament on Friday, Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo said, “As on June 25, 2019, final ESZ notifications covering 316 protected areas (PAs) and draft ESZ notification covering 199 protected areas have been published by the ministry.”
According to the ministry, out of the 651 Protected Areas (PAs) in India, 316 have been covered under the final ESZ notification which provides for prohibition of mining, stone quarrying and crushing units located within one k.m. of such protected areas.
In the absence of the notification, an area of 10 k.m. around the PAs is considered ‘default ESZ’ according to the directions of the Supreme Court, it said.
Out of the 316 areas covered in ESZ final notification, 100 PAs are in Andaman and Nicobar Islands followed by 29 in Maharashtra and 23 protected areas in Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
The ESZ notifications are issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Environment (Protection) Rules 1986.