Maha Govt Turns 250 Sq Km of Radhanagri Wildlife Sanctuary into an Eco-Sensitive Zone

Maha Govt Turns 250 Sq Km of Radhanagri Wildlife Sanctuary into an Eco-Sensitive Zone

A new notification passed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) details the conversion of 250.66 sq km of land situated around Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary (RWS) into an eco-sensitive zone or ESZ. This area is home to animals like elephants and tigers that migrate between neighbouring states. 

With the land now being classified under ESZ, stone quarrying, new mining projects, major hydroelectric projects, setting up of brick kilns and other industries that are considered to be contributors towards pollution will be prohibited in the region. 

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“All new and existing mining (minor and major minerals), stone quarrying and crushing units shall be prohibited with immediate effect except for meeting domestic needs of local residents, including digging up land for construction or repair work of houses within eco-sensitive zone,” the notification read.

It’s worth noting that agriculture/organic farming, small-industries or minor infrastructure projects can still be undertaken at the region so this move is not expected to affect the local economy.  

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The Radhanagri Wildlife Sanctuary spans a total of 351.16 sq km and allows smooth passage to elephants and tigers migrating between Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Goa. 

V Clement Ben, Chief Conservator of Forest (Kolhapur) said - “With the final notification, execution of development projects may be smooth outside the notified area, but also stringent measures in the notified area shall strengthen wildlife conservation measures undertaken by the government.” 

The southern portion of Sahyadri range, as well as the regions around RWS, were being scouted by the mining lobby, as per reports. Activists added that at least two two bauxite ore mining projects were in progress with one reportedly being at an “exploratory” phase.

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