Felling of trees within 1 km around the boundary of the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary without prior permission from a competent authority in the State government has been restricted.
The ban on felling of trees has been included in the list of activities prohibited or to be regulated within the eco-sensitive zone of the sanctuary by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change in the draft EZ notification published recently.
No new commercial hotels and resorts shall be permitted within 1 km of the boundary of the protected area or up to the extent of the eco-sensitive zone, whichever is nearer. However, small temporary structures for eco-tourism activities are permitted, according to the notification.
The draft notification also places a ban on new commercial construction of any kind within 1 km from the boundary of the protected area. At the same time, local people shall be permitted to undertake construction work in their land.
The notification, published on September 5, also suggested the formation of a monitoring committee for overseeing the implementation of the provisions of the notification.
While the Ernakulam District Collector will be the ex-officio chairman of the committee, the Ernakulam MLA, an expert in ecology and environment, regional officer from the Kerala State Pollution Control Board, a representative of a non-governmental organisation working in the field of environment, including heritage conservation, a wildlife expert from the Kerala Forest Research Institute and the Town Planning Officer from the Kochi Corporation will be its members.
The corporation councillor of the region, president or secretary of Mangalavanam Samrakshana Samiti, and an expert in biodiversity nominated by the State government will also be its members. The wildlife warden of the sanctuary will function as the member secretary of the committee, which will have a term of three years or till a new committee is reconstituted by the State government.
The draft notification will be taken into consideration on or after 60 days of its publication.
Those interested in making suggestions can send them to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Jorbagh
Road, Aliganj, New Delhi-110 003, or e-mail them to [email protected]