Kerala News

Deadline to file complaints about the buffer zone is today

Today is the last day (Jan 7) to file objections about inaccuracies and omissions in the preliminary map of Kerala’s buffer zones or Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) surrounding protected forests.

Through panchayat assistance desks, the Forest Department has already received more than 54,000 complaints.

A total of 54,607 complaints had been submitted as of Saturday morning, out of which 17,054 had been resolved and 18,496 had been uploaded to the Asset Mapper app.

Today at 5 p.m. is the cutoff time for adding structures that were previously left out of the satellite survey preliminary report.

The Forest department has announced that physical inspection of the lands will continue in the following days and that beyond the deadline, complaints won’t be taken via email or directly.

The complaints have not yet been uploaded by 31 panchayats.

The only panchayat that has finished the field survey and uploaded the information to the app is Kozhikode’s Chakkittapara. The remaining panchayats have requested additional time.

Only training for uploading the details was offered in many panchayats. Only 65% of the physical verification could be finished in areas like Idukki.

Panchayats were instructed to conduct the manual survey of lands as soon as feasible on December 12.

In order to finish the verification quickly, the panchayats had sent out more employees.

The report would be filed to the Supreme Court by January 11 after all requirements, including the actual physical verification of the sites, were completed, the Chief Minister had earlier stated. To address the public’s concerns about the inconsistencies in the preliminary map of the buffer zones next to protected forests, help desks were put up in 80 panchayats. 85 panchayats in total have been declared as ESZs or buffer zones. On January 11, the Supreme Court will review petitions concerning the buffer zone.

According to reports, the Kerala government will ask the Supreme Court for a three-month extension so that it can submit information about the properties that fall under the buffer zone. The administration has already compiled a list of structures important for sustaining local residents’ livelihoods.

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