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A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India vide its judgment dated June 03, 2022 has held that every national park/wildlife sanctuary should have an eco-sensitive zone of minimum one kilometre where developmental activities shall be regulated/prohibited in terms of the guidelines for the declaration of the ESZ around the National Parks/Wildlife Sanctuaries issued on 09.02.2011 (2011 Guidelines) by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
In this welcoming judgment, the Supreme Court has not only affirmed that ESZ would be site specific and on a case to case basis but has also prescribed a minimum distance of ESZ from the boundary of a national park/wildlife sanctuary. Since there was no minimum distance of ESZ prescribed earlier, States were proposing ESZs to a minimal extent, even lesser than one km.
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