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123 villages in Kerala fragile areas: Centre

123 villages in Kerala fragile areas: Centre

New Delhi: The Environmental and Forest Ministry has informed the National Green Tribunal that 123 villages in Kerala come under the category of the Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA).

The government has said the order of November 13 regarding the issue is still applicable, but the memorandum issued on December is not valid.

The Ministry in November last year came out with an order which had five conditions applicable to 123 villages in the State.

The order prohibits mining, setting up of thermal plants and also restricts construction of buildings to less than 20,000 square metres. It also states that no township project in these villages can exceed 50 hectares and industries in the red category cannot be set up in these villages.

The order was particularly resented in the hilly district of Idukki and Wayanad as well as the hill areas in Kozhikode and Kannur districts.

The Kasturirangan report had identified 123 villages in Kerala which were ecologically sensitive.

Of the 123 villages that have been marked as ESA, Idukki has the maximum number of villages (58) under ESA, followed by Palakkad (14) and Wayand (13).

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