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Union Environment & Forest Minister assures to solve issues related to farm and development activities in sanctuaries in Gujarat

Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge) Shri Anil Madhav Dave assured Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Vijay Rupani that the Centre would favourably decide the teething problems pertaining to declaring 11 Eco Sensitive Zones in the state.

CM Shri Rupani during his meeting with Shri Anil Dave listed a number of issues cropping up in like carrying out agricultural and other economic activities by villagers and providing infrastructure facilities, like drinking water, electricity and gas pipelines through the 11 Eco Sensitive Zones in the State. The State would have to seek Centre’s permission in each case.

The Centre had notified these zones as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court. They include National Parks at Gir and Velavadar, Wildlife Sanctuaries at Gir, Paniya, Mitiyana, Velavadar, Barda, Nal Sarovar, Khijadiya, Gaga and Hingolgarh, besides Birds Sanctuary at Porbandar.

Responding positively to Gujarat’s concern, Shri Dave told CM Shri Rupani during their meeting that the Centre would convene a joint meeting of the Central and State Government officers of departments concerned in New Delhi to find a permanent solution to the issues raised in the larger interest of the people.

It was emphasized at today’s meeting that non-essential areas need not be included in the Eco Sensitive Zones. Permission has been sought from Central Zoo Authority for the Ambardi Safari Park near Gir Sanctuary.

CM Shri Rupani pointed out that agricultural lands of farmers have been included in these zones, obstructing the people’s movement, jeopardizing their livelihood and halting construction activities for the infrastructure projects in these zones.

A presentation on the problems faced by the villagers in these notified eco sensitive zones was made before the Union Minister.

Others present during the meeting were Gujarat’s Forest Minister Shri Ganpatnbhai Vasava, Minister of State for Environment Shri Shankarbhai Chaudhry and senior officers of Environment and Forest Department.

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