MoEF&CC given one month to hand over details
PANJIM: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to submit the compliance report on the finalisation of Eco-Sensitive Areas (ESA) along the Western Ghat region within one month.
NGT Principal Bench chaired by Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel has directed MoEF&CC to submit the compliance report via email.
The directions are issued in an application filed by Goa Foundation raising grievance that the notification of ESA in the Western Ghats has not been finalised despite tribunal directions in August 2018 that the matter be finalised within six months. An undertaking by Ministry dated September 8, 2017 was also noted in the Tribunal order, where MoEF&CC said that final notification will be issued as expeditiously as possible and in any case within 12 months. “Let a report be furnished by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) about the status of compliance of the above orders within one month by email,” the Tribunal said in an order passed on May 7.
The Ministry had issued draft notification declaring ESA along the Western Ghats covering the States of Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala on October 3, 2018. The notification was based on the recommendation of High Level Working Group headed by Dr Kasturirangan.
All the States, including Goa, had disagreed with the draft notification and accordingly, the Ministry, in a meeting held in February earlier this year, directed States to submit their final proposal.
Goa has sought 50 per cent reduction in the SEA area identified under draft notification. The notification declared 1,461 sq kms of Goa’s area covering 99 villages as ESA. The State has now demanded an area of 707 sq kms with 69 villages to be declared as eco-sensitive.