Third map of ESZ released, farmers allege inaccuracy

In Palakkad, Mannarkad municipality has not been marked in the map.
Image used for representational purpose only.(File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only.(File Photo)

KOCHI: The Kerala government on Wednesday released a third map of the eco-sensitive zone around protected forests. The new map has been released marking the survey numbers of the human habitations located within 1 km from the forest boundary, which will make it easy for farmers to identify their property. The farmers can approach the help desks at panchayats and verify the map. Complaints regarding inclusions or omissions have to be submitted in the prescribed pro forma before January 7.

Meanwhile, farmers have alleged that the third map is ridden with errors and this has added to the confusion. “The survey number of human habitations around Thattekad bird sanctuary has not been included in the map. They have removed the entire human habitations. The border of Kuttampuzha panchayat has been extended up to Edamalakudi panchayat in Idukki district. In the process, the entire Mankulam panchayat has vanished,” said Kerala Independent Farmers Association chairman Alex Ozhukayil.

The Mankulam panchayat was formed in 2000 before which it was part of ward 10 of Munnar panchayat. It seems, the department has used a map before the formation of Mankulam panchayat. Survey numbers 14, 15, 16 and 20 of Anakulam in Mankulam panchayat are part of Kuttampuzha village. So the authorities might have thought that it is part of Kottampuzha panchayat, he said.

In Palakkad, Mannarkad municipality has not been marked in the map. The same survey numbers have been repeated inside and outside the eco-sensitive zone. The name of Silent Valley national Park has been wrongly mentioned as Thattekad. There are no human habitations near the core area of Silent Valley, but the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) has been extended from 4 to 8 km from the core area. Here the authorities have marked ESZ for territorial forest.

The state government has extended the term of the expert committee headed by Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan by two months. The term of the committee is to end by December 30. Now the committee will be operational till February 28.

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