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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO: 73
ANSWERED ON:  05.02.2021
Ecologically Sensitive Areas/Zones
Vellalath Kochukrishnan Nair. Sreekandan
Will the Minister of



ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:-


(a) whether several villages in the Palakkad district have been classified as Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA)/Ecologically Sensitive Zones (ESZ) in accordance with Dr. Kasturirangan Report and a recent Government notification dated 27 October, 2020, if so, the details thereof;
(b) whether it is true that on implementation of ESA and ESZ notifications, farmers/people living in such villages would be evacuated and their land would be converted into forest land and if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether there have been protests by people against such notifications and if so, the details thereof; and
(d) whether the Government has received any representations in this regard, if so, the details thereof and the action taken/proposed to be taken by the Government thereon?


ANSWER
MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(SHRI PRAKASH JAVADEKAR)

(a) to (d) A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.
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Statement referred to in reply to paras (a) to (d) of Lok Sabha Starred Question No. 73 due for reply on 05.02.2021 regarding “Ecologically Sensitive Area/Zones” raised by Shri V.K. Sreekandan.

(a) The High Level Working Group (HLWG) constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. K. Kasturirangan in its report identified 14 villages namely, Kizhakkenchery-I, Muthalamada-I, Muthalamada-II, Nelliyampathy, Pudur, Padavayal, Agali, Kottathara, Sholayur, Kallamala, Palakkayam, Malampuzha-I, Puthuppariyaram-I, Pudussery East, from Palakkad District for consideration under the Western Ghats Eco Sensitive Area(ESA).

The Government of Kerala has proposed 8 partial villages to put under Eco Sensitive Zone(ESZ)for Salient Valley National Park.They are Padavayal, Kallamala, Palakkayam, Payyanadam, Mannarkkad, Allanallur III, Kottopadam I, Kottopadam III, from Palakkad District and suggested for inclusion in the Notification dated 27th October, 2020 under Eco Sensitive Zone. Accordingly, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued draft Eco Sensitive Zone Notification for Salient Valley National Park vide S.O.No.3880(E) dated the 27th October, 2020.

(b) No, Sir. The implementation of ESA and ESZ Notifications does not involve displacement and evacuation of farmers/people living in such villages nor their land would be converted in to forestland.Also,the purpose of declaration of ESA and ESZ Notifications is not displacement or evacuation of farmers/people living in such villages.

(c) &(d) The Central Government has received comments from the concerned stakeholders including general public on the draft notifications, which inter alia includes apprehension about restrictions on agriculture and habitation land; exclusion of highly populated village from the ESA; clarity regarding protected area and boundary of ESZ, comments on prohibition and/ or regulation of certain activities.

The notifications of Western Ghats ESA and Salient Valley National Park ESZ are at the draft stage.The final notifications have not been issued. The representations received are being duly considered and discussed with the State Government.
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