The 33rd ESZ Expert Committee meeting of the
Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) has recommended to finalize the draft
notification which declared an Eco-sensitive Zone (ESZ) area of 168.84 sq.km around
Bannerghatta National Park. Environment activists have strongly opposed the
In 2016, the government had brought out a draft
notification which called for 268.96 sq. km of ESZ around Bannerghatta National
Park. However, in 2018, the government issued another draft notification which
reduced the area of ESZ to 169 sq. km. According to Supreme Court orders,
unless site-specific ESZs are declared a 10-km area around each of these
wildlife zones is treated as an ESZ.
Eco-sensitive zone is an area notified by the
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), around Protected Areas,
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. Notifications declaring areas as ESZ are
issued under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. The main aim behind ESZs
are to regulate certain activities so as to minimise the negative impacts of
such activities on the fragile ecosystem surrounding the protected areas.
The Bannerghatta National Park is located near
Bangalore city in Karnataka. It was declared as a national park in 1974. A part
of the national park was designated as Bannerghatta Biological Park in 2002. The
biological park provides for ex-situ conservation of species. It also has a
butterfly park-the first in India.