Agitation called in Wynad against Centre for rejecting Kerala's proposal

·2-min read

New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) Public organisations and political parties have called for agitation in Wynad against the Centre for rejecting Kerala government's proposal over a notification on eco-sensitive zones, Loktantrik Janata Dal MP MV Ssreyams Kumar said in a special mention in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Areas around Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary were declared as eco-sensitive zones in a draft notification recently released by the Environment Ministry.

According to the notification, most of the activities going on at present are banned in an area of 118.59 sq km which is termed as eco sensitive, Kumar said.

The Kerala government had given a proposal to the Centre excluding most of the human settlements in the notification for the eco-sensitive area.

'Instead of approving the proposal, the same draft notification has been returned now. The people in the area are agitated and worried about losing their settlements. Many public organisations and political parties have called for large scale agitations in Wynad,' Kumar said.

The sanctuary covered in the notification is rich in biodiversity and is a habitat of elephants and tigers. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for amendment in the notification.

Kumar said the area covered in the notification includes thickly-populated human settlements and towns, even a municipal town like Sultan Batheri.

'I understand that there is a move to enforce eco-sensitive zones to other wildlife sanctuaries also in Kerala. Areas around wildlife in Kerala are different from other wildlife areas in the country. Human inhabitation around the forests have developed into large cultivations and thickly-populated small towns,' Kumar said.

He appealed to the Environment Minister to re-examine the norms for eco-sensitive zones and amend the notification by excluding the human settlements from the eco- sensitive zone around the wildlife sanctuaries.

'I am for protection of the environment and wildlife. At the same time we have to think about human life. There should be an outlook accommodating the co-existence of the wildlife and human settlements,' Kumar said. PTI PRS ZMN