The Supreme Court has upheld an order of the National Green Tribunal, dismissing a plea challenging the declaration of one-km eco-sensitive zone around Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts of Uttar Pradesh.
A bench comprising justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said there was no ground to interfere with the tribunal’s direction. “We do not find any reason to interfere with the order of the National Green Tribunal. Accordingly, the civil appeal is dismissed,” the bench said.
In October last year, the tribunal junked a plea filed by an NGO on the ground that objections and suggestions were considered by the expert committee for declaration of one-km eco-sensitive zone around the sanctuary.
“The tribunal cannot loose sight of the fact that limitation of distance cannot be taken to a distance of 10 km or so. The authorities and the (environment) 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 NGT Act, 2010. We see no reason to interfere and the application deserve to be dismissed,” the NGT had said.
The order had come on a plea filed by NGO Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation, which had challenged the declaration of one-km ESZ around the sanctuary. The plea had contented that the fixation of eco-sensitive zone of 1 km uniformly around the boundary of the sanctuary was unjustifiable.
The petition had said the environment ministry should have taken into consideration the ecologically-sensitive areas, water bodies, forests wildlife habitats and other eco-sensitive areas on the basis of site selection and should not apply the uniform distance.
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