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National Chambal Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh received eco-sensitive zone tag

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On March 2, 2020 Centre notified 870 sq km around the National Chambal Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh(MP) as eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) to prohibit polluting activities like  industries, major hydroelectric project,mining, stone quarrying & big construction within the ‘no-go area’ for the purpose of conservation of water bodies, unique geographical features(ravines), flora & fauna.Highlights

i.It covers about 435 square kilometres & lies across Sheopur, Morena and Bhind districts of MP with a length of more than 400 kilometers.It is home to 75% of gharial,freshwater gangetic dolphins, 9 species of freshwater turtles &  more the 180 species of migratory birds.

ii.The area of extent is 0 to 2 kilometres around the boundary of National Chambal Sanctuary in MP as the ESZ.

iii.MP government  to prepare ‘Zonal Master Plan’ to develop ESZ & Eco-Tourism plan to promote tourism within the earmarked area.

iv.The Zonal master plan to be prepared within 2 years in consultation of local authorities provides restoration of denuded areas, conservation of existing water bodies, management of catchment areas, watershed management, groundwater management, soil & moisture conservation, needs of local community & other aspects of the ecology and environment that need attention.

v.Under eco-tourism master plan, new construction of hotels & resorts within 1 kilometre from the boundary of the wildlife or upto the extent of the ESZ.

vi.Forests, horticulture areas, agricultural areas, parks & open spaces earmarked for recreational purposes in the ESZ not to be used, or converted into areas for commercial or residential or industrial activities.

About The National Chambal Sanctuary
It is Located on the Chambal River near the tripoint of Rajasthan, MP and Uttar Pradesh &  is spread over 2,100 square mile.The key species are critically endangered gharial or fish eating crocodile, red-crowned roof turtle,endangered Ganges river dolphin & common plants like Khair, Palash, Churel& Ber. It is the first and only tri-state riverine protected area in India for the breeding population of Gharial.It is also called as the National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary.

About ESZ
ESZ or Ecologically Fragile Areas (EFA) is governed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change(MoEFCC). The purpose of declaring ESZ is to create ” shock absorbers” to the protected areas & also act as transition zones.There are no acts to regulate the zones, but are regulated with set of guidelines declared by the ministry.