Fresh draft notification on eco-sensitive zones for the Western Ghats was issued to avoid its lapse as two state governments were yet to submit their reports, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Thursday.
“No changes have been made to the earlier draft notification. Fresh draft has been issued to avoid technical problem of getting lapse in 545 days,” the minister told reporters in New Delhi.
Eco-sensitive zones of the Western Ghats region cover six states — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Javadekar said the government has received reports from four states — Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala — while Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have not submitted the reports yet.
“Hope these two states (Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu) also submit the reports as soon as possible,” he said.
As per the reports submitted by the four states, the minister said the area under the eco-sensitive zones has increased but the final quantum of jump in the region would be available after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu submit their reports.
“The government is fully committed to protecting the ecology and sanctity of Western Ghats. At the same time, the government is determined to ensure sustainable development of the population staying in the western ghatsAregion,” Javadekar said.
About 50 million people live in the eco-sensitive zone of the Western Ghats.
The fresh draft notification has been issued in supersession of the notification dated March 10, 2014.
The earlier draft notification was issued under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.