Centre unveils draft notification for ESZ around Dachigam National Park
UT administration to prepare zonal master plan
Srinagar: The Union Ministry of Forests, Environment & Climate Change has unveiled the draft notification for an eco-sensitive zone around Dachigam national park, Thajwas (Baltal) and Overa- Aru wildlife sanctuaries.
The notification proposes that an area to an extent varying from 200 meters to 13.15 kilometers around the boundary of Dachigam National Park, Thajwas (Baltal) wildlife sanctuary and Overa-Aru Wildlife sanctuary shall form their ESZ.
“The extent of eco-sensitive zone shall be of 200 m to 13.15 km from the boundary of Dachigam National Park, Thajwas (Baltal) Wildlife Sanctuary and Overa -Aru Wildlife Sanctuary and comprising of an area of 448.00 sq.km,” reads the notification.
The Ministry has invited suggestions/ objections on the proposal contained in the draft notification.
The natural boundaries of Dachigam National Park, Overa-Aru wildlife sanctuary and Thajwas wildlife (Baltal) sanctuary are connected at landscape level. The boundary of Dachigam national park on North and North Eastern side merges with Overa-Aru wildlife sanctuary while as Overa–Aru wildlife sanctuary on its North and North-Eastern side merges with Thajwas wildlife sanctuary.
The protected areas hold a good population of some of the important/endemic species of animals, birds and vegetation.
“The eco-sensitive zone proposed makes these areas as one unit and will help gene flow across these areas to flourish the biodiversity,” the notification further states.
The Dachigam National Park, comprising an area of 141 sq.km, was notified as national park on April 10, 1990 while as Overa- Aru wildlife sanctuary, comprising an area of 425 sq.km, and Thajwas(Baltal) wildlife sanctuary, comprising an area of 210 sq.km, were declared as wildlife sanctuaries on March 19, 1987.
The MOEFF&CC notification states that the Union Territory government shall prepare a zonal master plan for the purpose of ESZ within a period of two years from the date of publication of the notification in the official gazette, in consultation with local people and adhere to stipulations given in the notification for approval of the competent authority.
“The zonal master plan for the eco-sensitive zone shall be prepared by the Union Territory government in such manner as is specified in this notification and also in consonance with the relevant Central and Union Territory laws and the guidelines issued by the Central Government, if any,” it further states. (KNO)