Proposed ESZ criticised

Baripada: The draft proposal for proposed Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around Similipal Wildlife Sanctuary in Mayurbhanj district has been criticised by two political leaders.

Rairangpur Congress MLA Shyam Charan Hansda and state unit chief of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Sudam Marandi have opposed the proposal claiming it would curtail economic and developmental activities in the district.

In separate memoranda to the District Collector and Chairman of the committee to set guidelines for final notification on the matter, both the leaders sought steps to cut down the boundary limit of the ESZ to maximum 5 km from the proposed 10 km from the boundary of Similipal sanctuary.

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest in a letter dated February 5, 2013 to the Principal Secretary Forest and Environment department has submitted a draft proposal for declaration of Eco Sensitive Zone around Similipal sanctuary for consideration at government level at the directive of Union Ministry of Environment and Forest.

Industrial units, construction activities, quarrying and mining, felling of trees, utilization of water bodies for commercial purpose, noise pollution, discharge of effluents shall be banned in the proposed area.

District Collector Rajesh Pravakar Patil said the proposal would be finalised keeping in view the interest of Mayurbhanj and its people.