The Supreme Court amended the order which impeded the development activites around Eco Sensitive Zones.

Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan has 22 villages within its ESZ (eco-sensitive zone). The court order dated June 3, 2022, prohibits permanent structures within ESZs, including schools, dispensaries, village stores, and basic structures for improving the lives of villagers. The order also impedes eco-development activities around national parks and sanctuaries, which often involve construction of permanent structures. Regulated activities and national strategic projects like construction of highways, railways, and defence-related infrastructure will also be prohibited. The court’s direction will prevent the state and central government from constructing roads and providing other facilities to the villagers. The court’s order will hamper the day-to-day activities of citizens in the ESZs.

The order, if continued, will affect the reconstruction of houses, construction of schools, dispensaries, and other basic structures for the benefit of the villagers. The order will also prevent the State or the Central Government from constructing roads and providing other facilities to the villagers. The Forest Department’s eco-development activities, which require the construction of small permanent structures, will be prohibited. Certain regulated activities and projects of national and strategic importance such as construction of National Highways, Railways, and Defence-related infrastructure will be permanently prohibited. The court order intensifies the man-animal conflict instead of avoiding it. The court finds that the rights of the villagers residing in the ESZs are required to be settled as per the 1972 Act, and the villagers residing in the ESZs areas do not have any settlement of rights available to them. If the direction continues, it will hamper the day-to-day activities of the citizens residing in ESZs.

IN RE: T.N. GODAVARMAN THIRUMULPAD
…PETITIONER(S)
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS …RESPONDENT(S)
decided by the Supreme Court of India on 26.04.23

By aor.sanjivnarang@gmail.com

Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.