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PIL says illegal mining happening in the eco-sensitive zone of Girnar Reserve Forest

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Aaquib Chhipa, Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has issued notice and asked the collector, Junagadh, and principal chief conservator of forest and chief wildlife warden to file a report about the alleged illegal quarrying and mining activities in some parts of the eco-sensitive zone of Girnar Reserved Forest in Junagadh.

A PIL filed before the Gujarat High Court has alleged that illegal mining and quarrying activities are being held in the eco-sensitive zone in Bheshan taluka and Junagadh.

Earlier a complaint about the illegal activities was made to the Junagadh collector and district SP.

Rules for eco-sensitive zone

Advocate for the petitioner submitted before the court that the Ministry of Environment and Forest had issued a notification in 2012 for the long-term protection and conservation of the Asiatic lions.

Clause 3 of the notification provides the list of prohibited, regulated, and permitted activities in the Eco-sensitive Zone. It provides that no mining and crushing activities shall be allowed within the eco-sensitive zone and no major changes in the landscape shall be allowed that may affect the hydrology and ecology of the region.

The notification says it is necessary to conserve and protect the area around the protected area of Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary as an eco-sensitive Zone from an ecological and environmental point of view.

The Gujarat High Court directed the concerned authorities to take appropriate steps if any such illegal mining and crushing activities are going on within the eco-sensitive zone.

Recently an application was filed in a suo motu PIL regarding the decision to allow some portion of Gir Sanctuary’s land for a gas pipeline, oil, and optical fiber. The court had asked the state government and state board for wildlife to file a reply in this regard. The matter is likely to be heard in January 2021

 

 

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