February 4, 2021 1:06:30 am
BJP MP Mansukh Vasava has written to Lok Sabha Secretary General, seeking attention to the issue of the eco-sensitive zone in Narmada district that has become a bone of contention between the tribal population and leaders on one side, and the district and state administration on the other.
Vasava has urged the parliament to pass a majority decision to “revoke” the notification that has become a cause of a major uproar in the district.
This comes a over a month after the MP from Bharuch constituency had resigned from the party and then withdrawn the same the next day.
In his letter dated January 25, addressed to the Secretary General of the Lok Sabha, Vasava sought permission to “discuss” the issue of the classification of 121 villages of Narmada district into the eco-sensitive zone, as per the May 2016 notification of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), which is being implemented on ground since November last year.
In his letter, Vasava stated: “Countless tribal people reside in Narmada district, which falls under my parliamentary constituency of Bharuch. These people are dependent on the forest produce and animal husbandry for their livelihood. As per a notification of the Government of India, 121 villages of Narmada district have been included under the eco-sensitive zone. By way of this notification, government officials have begun intervening in matters related to the lands that are under the rightful ownership of the original villagers. It has given rise to apprehensions that the interference of the state government would be detrimental to the financial progress of the tribal communities as well as their social growth and livelihood. This marginalised community expects that the government will think of their development without tampering with their lands and forests. With the Statue of Unity and the adjoining area speedily turning into a commercial hub, there is urgent need to release these villages from the eco-sensitive zone notification. It is my request that for the peace and progress of the tribal-dominated district of Narmada, the notification classifying the villages as ‘eco-sensitive zone’ should be immediately revoked. I urge you to undertake a majority decision in this favour.”
Matters, which are not points of order or which cannot be raised under the rules relating to Questions, Short Notice Questions, Calling Attention, Motions in the Lok Sabha, can be raised under Rule 377. Notice for raising a matter under rule 377 is to be given in writing, addressed to the Secretary General specifying clearly and precisely the text of the matter to be raised.
Soon after Vasava had submitted his resignation to the party, the Gujarat government had withdrawn the revenue record entry highlighting the lands of 14 of the 121 villages as “eco-sensitive zone”, citing it as administrative error.
Following the resolution made by the government to “withdraw” the revenue record entry marking lands as ‘ESZ’ on the physical record, the respective revenue offices of the talukas now “physically verifying” the status of the lands on case-to-case basis, should any application be made by locals for any activity on the said lands. The villages continue to be under the eco-sensitive zone for all other purposes of administration and rules.
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