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Supreme Court of India (Photo/ANI)
Supreme Court of India (Photo/ANI)

SC bans mining, permanent structures within 1-km radius of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries

ANI | Updated: Jun 04, 2022 01:30 IST

New Delhi [India], June 4 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday ordered that mining within the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries shall not be permitted.
Besides this, the top court also directed that each protected forest, that is a national park or wildlife sanctuary, must have an eco-sensitive zone of a minimum of one kilometre measured from the demarcated boundary of such protected forest in which the activities proscribed and prescribed in the Guidelines of February 9, 2011, shall be strictly adhered to. For the Jamua Ramgarh wildlife sanctuary, it shall be 500 metres so far as subsisting activities are concerned, the Court said.
These directions were passed by a Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and Aniruddha Bose.
"In the event, however, the ESZ is already prescribed as per law that goes beyond one kilometre buffer zone, the wider margin as ESZ shall prevail. If such wider buffer zone beyond one kilometre is proposed under any statutory instrument for a particular national park or wildlife sanctuary awaiting final decision in that regard, then till such final decision is taken, the ESZ covering the area beyond one kilometre as proposed shall be maintained," the top court said.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests as also the Home Secretary of each State and Union Territory shall remain responsible for proper compliance with the said guidelines regarding the nature of use within the ESZ of all national parks and sanctuaries, the court said.

The Court directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests for each State and Union Territory to make a list of subsisting structures and other relevant details within the respective ESZs and file a report before it within three months.
"In the event any activity is already being undertaken within the one kilometre or extended buffer zone (ESZ), as the case may be, of any wildlife sanctuary or national park which does not come within the ambit of prohibited activities as per the 9th February 2011 Guidelines, such activities may continue with permission of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of each State or Union Territory and the person responsible for such activities in such a situation shall obtain necessary permission within a period of six months. Such permission shall be given once the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests is satisfied that the activities concerned do not come within the prohibited list and were continuing prior to passing of this order in a legitimate manner. No new permanent structure shall be permitted to come up for whatsoever purpose within the ESZ, " the court said.
The Court also directed the CEC to quantify the compensation to be recovered from each miner indulging in mining activities within the Jamua Ramgarh sanctuary in violation of any statutory
provision or order of this Court.
The Court's direction came while dealing with the matter relating to protected natural forests.
The petition, in substance, continued with the cause title "in Re: T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad v. Union of India and Ors" in which various orders have been passed from time to time to ensure preservation of forest resources of this country in balance with economic activities. By an order of this Court dated May 9, 2002, a Central Empowered Committee (CEC) was directed to be formed primarily for monitoring the implementation of this Court's orders and to place the incidents of noncompliance. (ANI)