NGT refuses to admit petition challenging 1 km ecosensitive zone of Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary in UP, approves the MoEFCC decision
The National Green Tribunal’s Principal Bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar has refused to admit the petition filed by Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation (VENHF) which questioned the declaration of 1 km eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) in districts Mirzapur and Sonbhadra of Uttar Pradesh.
VENHF had also sent a detailed representation to Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in December 2015 highlighting the shortcomings in the draft notification declaring 1 km ESZ around KWLS. The representation which was endorsed by eminent wildlife experts like Dr. Asad Rahmani, Mike Pandey, Prof. A.S. Raghubanshi and organizations such as Sanctuary Asia was not even considered by MoEFCC while finalizing the notification in a meeting held in February 2016. However, the final notification was published only in March this year, following which this case was prepared.
The tribunal observed:
The Tribunal cannot loose sight of the fact that limitation of distance cannot be taken to a distance of 10 kms or so. The authorities and the Ministry are likely to take various factors into consideration while ensuring the applicability of Principle of Sustainable Development. If carrying on of all different activities indiscriminately were permitted then there might have been case of infringement of this principal. However, in light of the specific restriction provided we have no doubt in our mind that the Ministry has acted in consonance with the settled Principle as contemplated under Section 20 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010. We see no reason to interfere and the application deserve to be dismissed.
A copy of the petition filed by VENHF is provided below.
This article is updated on 18/10/2017 to correct the link to the NGT order dated 11th October, 2017.