Panchayat seeks repeal of Centre’s draft notification

The Mananthavady block panchayat board has urged the Central government to withdraw the draft notification of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change that envisages a buffer zone around the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

According to the draft notification issued on January 28, the eco-sensitive zone will be to an extent of 0 to 3.4 km around the boundary of the sanctuary.

“The sanctuary has a total area of around 344.53, of which 118.59 is declared as buffer zone. The draft notification will make people’s life more miserable, as they are already reeling under the collapse of the agriculture sector,” the resolution passed by the board said.

The notification stipulates that the villages of Thirunelly and Thrissilery in Thirunelly grama panchayat, which are already part of the buffer zone of the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, should be included in the buffer zone of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary as well, the resolution said.

The loss of income due to the pandemic and the rising cost of living following the fuel price hike have considerably impacted the population here.

Wildlife should be contained within the forest boundaries after a demarcation of forest and human settlements, and human settlements and farm land should be excluded from the Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ), the resolution said.

Meanwhile, the UDF district committee has called for a 12-hour hartal (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) in the district on Monday demanding repeal of the the draft notification. Essential services have been exempted from the hartal, UDF convener N.D. Appachan said in a release here.

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