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Central Government declares part of Odisha’s Balukhanda-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary as eco-sensitive zone (ESZ)

The notification, dated May 19, declares 21.5 square km area out of the sanctuary's 85 sq km as ESZ, including about 30 villages

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central government has declared part of Odisha's Balukhanda-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary as an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ). Wikimedia
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New Delhi, May 28, 2017: In a bid to conserve nature and manage consistent pressure from developmental activities, the central government has declared part of Odisha’s Balukhanda-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary as an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ).

The notification, dated May 19, declares 21.5 square km area out of the sanctuary’s 85 sq km as ESZ, including about 30 villages.

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A diverse eco-system, the sanctuary, between Puri and Konark, extends to the Bay of Bengal. Situated on the mouth of Prachi river, it has a diverse variety of flora including cashew, animals like black bucks, spotted deer, hyenas, jungle cats, monitor lizards and marine turtles, and supports different mangrove vegetation.

The Central government has asked the state government to draft a Zonal Master Plan, within a period of two years in consultation with local people, to provide for “restoration of denuded areas, conservation of existing water bodies, management of catchment areas, watershed management, groundwater management, soil and moisture conservation, needs of the local community and such other aspects of the ecology and environment that need attention”.

It added that the plan will factor in the improvement of all infrastructure and activities to be more efficient and eco-friendly.

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The plan, according to the government, must also prohibit polluting activities, curb construction, land use change for industrial and commercial use, and promote development through white industries for the tribals. The state government has also asked to work on the waste management and rainwater harvesting in the ESZ region.

“No use of tribal land shall be permitted for commercial and industrial development activities … No new construction of hotels and resorts shall be allowed within one km from the boundary of the Balukhanda-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary or upto the extent of the eco-sensitive Zone,” the notification said.

The move was being welcomed by the state’s conservationists.

“It’s a good step. All the sanctuaries in the country need a balance, espcially because they are enhabited and wildlife is also growing,” Odisha-based wildlife activist and conservationist A.K. Singh told IANS. (IANS)

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Anna Hazare Breaks Fast After Government Assurance

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Anna Hazare finally breaks his fast after government assurance. IANS
Anna Hazare finally breaks his fast after government assurance. IANS
  • Anna Hazare called off his hunger strike after government’s assurance
  • He fasted in Delhi’s Ramlila Ground
  • He fasted against unfair crop prices, electoral policies and Lokpal appointments

Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday called off his hunger strike in support of his demands as the Central government sought six months to deal with his demands on fair crop prices, Lokpal appointment and electoral reforms.

Anna Hazare wants government to finish corruption completely and take steps in the right direction. Wikimedia Commons

“The government has agreed to demand on crop prices and agreed to take steps on the appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states as soon as possible,” Hazare said as he announced that he was going to break his fast.

Hazare said he had been assured regarding the new electoral reforms and implementation of the M.S. Swaminathan Committee report to address the agrarian crisis in the country.

Also Read: Anna Hazare to initiate mass awakening through his Jan-Jagran Yatra

“The governments are meant for the public and it is government’s responsibility to provide the best service to its people,” he said.

Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
Anna Hazare has also raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi earlier. Wikimedia Commons

Hazare launched his agitation in support of his demands at the Ramlila Maidan here on March 23. Earlier, he had launched a movement against corruption in 2011. IANS