Srinagar, Dec 21: Despite Supreme Court directions, the state’s progress in declaring several national parks and sanctuaries as Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ) has been far from satisfactory.
The ESZ are formed to serve as “shock absorber” for protected areas.
The basic aim is to regulate certain activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to minimise negative impact on the fragile ecosystem around.
Also the activities conducted in eco-sensitive zones are regulated under the Environment (Protection Act) of 1986 and no polluting industry or mine is allowed to come up in such areas.
Industries classified as prohibited under guidelines for declaration of eco-sensitive zones around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are not allowed to operate in these zones.
In 2006, the Supreme Court had directed all the states to safeguard protected areas by surrounding them with a buffer of ecologically fragile areas or ESZs.
On December 11, 2018, the apex court noticed that and ordered, “Under the circumstances, we direct that an area of 10 kilometre around 21 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries be declared as ESZs by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The declaration be made by the ministry at the earliest.”
However, a decade after the Supreme Court envisaged declaring areas within 10 km of the boundary of national parks and sanctuaries as Eco-Sensitive Zones, several parks and sanctuaries from the state are yet to be included.
The protected areas excluded under the eco-sensitive zones are Hemis High Altitude National Park, Kishtewar National Park, Changthang Sanctuary, Hokersar Sanctuary, and Trikuta Sanctuary.
State Wildlife authorities said the work on demarcating the ecologically-sensitive zones around national parks and sanctuaries has already begun and is likely to be completed soon.
Environmental lawyer, Nadeem Qadri said, “We have already prepared a draft plan for the protected areas. However, the delay is on part of the Central Government. Also, there’s huge political intervention delaying the entire initiative.”
Chief Wildlife Warden Jammu and Kashmir, Rashid Naqash, said, “Proposals for all National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries have been forwarded by the Government to the ministry of Environment Forests and climate change for declaring and notifying eco-sensitive zones around these areas.”
All laws in Kashmir should be at par with rest of India: Shiv Sena
New Delhi, Apr 20: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has said that all the laws in the State of Jammu and Kashmir should be at par with the rest of the country.
Coming down heavily on the Indian National Congress, the Shiv Sena chief said that Congress does not want to abolish Article 370.
“All laws in Kashmir should be at par with the rest of India. Congress does not want to abolish Article 370. Leaders like Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have said that if Article 370 is abolished there will be no one to respect the tricolor,” the Shiv Sen chief said while addressing a public rally in Aurangabad.
He also that Shiv Sena wanted a Prime Minister who could attack Pakistan and that is why Shiv Sena went into an alliance with the BJP.
CB registers case: 129 fake appointments in health dept at B’pora
Srinagar, Apr 20: Crime Branch Kashmir (CBK) has registered a case against various officers, officials for fraudulently making 129 appointments in three medical blocks of Bandipora.
According to CBK official handout, it received a communication from Directorate of Health Services Kashmir regarding 129 persons in Bandipora suspected of holding fictitious GPF numbers and with no record in District Fund Office Bandipora.
“During the course of inquiry by CBK, it came to fore that 129 employees of District Bandipora, 26 from Block Bandipora, 17 from Hajin and 86 from Block Gurez possess fictitious GPF A/C NOs, with allotted computer code 7501,” it stated, adding that the offices of Block Medical Officer Bandipora, Hajin and Gurez have reflected the fictitious GPF Code 7501 on the LPCs issued by them in favour of the fraudulently appointed employees.
The CBK further said that the appointment orders purportedly issued by Chief Medical Officer Baramulla were found fake and fictitious as the persons were appointed in fraudulent manner and then transferred to different Medical Blocks with their service books / LPCs prepared and dispatched.
“In this manner, a huge number of illegally and fraudulently appointed employees have been drawing salary deceitfully since long under a well-knit criminal conspiracy in league with concerned officers/officials. A huge loss has been caused to the state exchequer due to fraudulently appointed employees” the handout stated.
Transparency in cross-LoC trade: Demands ignored by successive govts,says KCCI
Srinagar, Apr 20: Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) on Saturday said that their demands aimed at bringing transparency in cross-LoC trade were ignored by the successive governments in the state.
“Over the years, no effective steps were taken to implement various suggestions given by stakeholders,” a spokesman of KCC&I said in a statement.
He said that the decision of installation of full body scanner was taken several years ago it was caught in procedural delays.
“Demands aimed at bringing transparency to the trade including installation of a full body scanner, close circuit television camera’s (CCTV’s), banking facility, communication infrastructure, re-verification of traders, regular rotation of officials posted at Trade Facilitation Centres etc have been ignored,” he said.
He said that in July 2018, the then Governor N N Vohra had issued deadlines for the implementation of the aforementioned measures but till date no action has been taken resulting in the suspension of the trade itself.
He also said that the allegation that businessman Zahoor Ahmed Wattali was the President of LOC Traders Association is also unsubstantiated as per our knowledge.
“This has allowed the alleged flow of narcotics, fake currency and weapons into the State. In view of the serious nature of the allegations, responsibility needs to be fixed for the glaring lapses,” he said.
He said that the order of suspension has been issued without taking into account the difficulties genuine traders would be facing.
“No opportunity has been given to settle accounts and traders have been left with huge stocks, many of them perishable, which would be of no use. In addition, thousands of persons connected with the trade have been rendered jobless and in debt,” he said.