The Odisha government is planning to declare 13 more spots as eco-sensitive zones across the state.
“We have already declared three spots as eco-sensitive zones. The state government will soon come out with a notification to declare 13 more spots as eco-sensitive zones, probably within a day or two,” said minister of forest and environment on the sidelines of a seminar on livelihood issues of fisher women.
Last May, the state government had declared the Chandaka-Dampada, Konark-Balukhand and Nandankanan Sanctuary as eco-sensitive Zones.
The zones were declared as per the new guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) after a Supreme Court directive in 2006 had asked all the states and Union territories to forward proposals for declaration of eco-sensitive zones around the protected areas to ensure their better regulation and management, Mishra added.
As per the guidelines, a warden, an ecologist, an official of nearby municipality or panchayat and of revenue department of the concerned area would be appointed to identify the eco-sensitive zones. The committee would make an inventory of different land use patterns and different types of activities, number of industries operating around each of the protected area and important corridors.
The inventory would be done by the concerned forest range officers who can take a stock of activities within 10 km of his range.
In February, Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) proposed to encourage planned and organized development of eco-sensitive zones and recommended a ban on individual construction.
As per the draft BDA planning and building standards regulations amendment, it would permit construction of five-star hotels, seven or five-star lake resorts, picnic huts, international convention centres, hospitals, food courts and music pavilions, group housing, corporate type housing with modern technology, theme parks and sports centers in these ecologically sensitive areas around the capital city.
Justifying the proposed amendment, BDA has said that big projects will foster orderly development in these areas, while plotted housing, small industries and small institutions will be completely banned in such areas to avoid messy constructions.