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Govt declares 56,825 sq km area in Western Ghats as eco-sensitive

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Govt declares 56,825 sq km area in Western Ghats as eco-sensitive
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New Delhi: The Environment Ministry has identified over 50,000 square kilometres, spread across six states in Western Ghats, as Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA).

"In exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986)...the Central Government hereby notifies the identified area of 56,825 square kilometres, spread across six states, namely, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, as the Western Ghats Ecologically Sensitive Area," the draft notification said.

The notification was published in supersession of the earlier notification dated September 4, 2015.

"The notice is hereby given that the said draft notification shall be taken into consideration on or after the expiry of a period of sixty days from the date on which copies of the Gazette of India containing this notification are made available to the public," it said.

The ESA in Kerala is spread over an area of 9,993.7 square kilometres which include 9,107 square kilometres of forest area and 886.7 square kilometres of non-forest area.

The projects and activities to be prohibited or regulated in the eco-sensitive area include mining, no new construction of thermal power plants and buildings amongst others.

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