Settlements around Thattekad Bird Sanctuary out of buffer zone  

As per the draft notification issued on September 29, 2020, an area of 28.444 sq km was declared as eco sensitive zone (ESZ).

Published: 02nd April 2022 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2022 06:01 AM   |  A+A-

A darter bird resting on a dry branch at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary  | Albin Mathew

A darter bird resting on a dry branch at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary (FIle photo) | Albin Mathew

Express News Service

KOCHI: In a big relief to the residents of Kuttampuzha and Vadattupara panchayats in Ernakulam district, the Expert Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for declaration of Eco Sensitive Zone around protected areas recommended to remove the human habitations and agricultural lands around Thattekad Bird Sanctuary from the buffer zone of the forest, approving the revised proposal submitted by the state government.

As per the draft notification issued on September 29, 2020, an area of 28.444 sq km was declared as eco sensitive zone (ESZ). The proposal was to declare areas extending to one km around the sanctuary as ESZ. The ministry is expected to issue a revised notification soon.

As per the draft notification, parts of Kuttampuzha and Vadattupara panchayats would have come under the ESZ. Protesting the decision to bring thickly populated areas as ESZ the local residents formed Jana Samrakshana Samithi under the leadership of Fr Kuriakose Kannampallil. 

Almost all political parties had extended support to the protest and the Kerala Independent Farmers Association and Kerala Catholic Youth Movement had actively participated in the agitation. The Congress had launched a protest under the leadership of panchayat president Kanthi Vellakayyan and mandalam president Baby Moolayil. The party had observed a dawn-to-dusk hartal on December 29, 2021.

As per the minutes of the expert committee meeting held on March 4, the ESZ of the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary has been reduced to 16 sq km extending to a maximum of 1 km from the forest boundary. The ESZ will be zero km from forest boundary on the eastern and south-eastern side of the sanctuary to avoid human habitations and tribal settlements. 

These areas include agricultural lands, patta land and possession lands. As per the recommendation of the state government, three water bodies have been included in the ESZ.

Thattekad bird sanctuary
Protected area    25.16 sq km
Proposed ESZ    28.444 sq km
Revised ESZ    16.52 sq km
Extent of ESZ    1 km on forest side

Zero km on eastern and south-eastern side



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