Forest Dwellers in Uttarakhand Oppose ESZ around Jim Corbett National Park

Reported by

Tarun Joshi

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016

Updated on

September 16, 2016

Location of Conflict

Ramnagar

Nainital

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Protected Areas

Eco-Sensitive Zone

(

Eco-Sensitive Zone

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

37700

ha

Starting Year

2013

State

Uttarakhand

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

The National Wildlife Action Plan (2002–2016) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) stipulated that state governments should declare land falling within 10 kilometres of the boundaries of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, called buffer zones, as eco-fragile or eco-sensitive zones (ESZs) under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The purpose of the ESZ is to provide more protection to the parks by acting as a shock absorber or transition zone. Following this, the area around the Jim Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve was declared an ESZ. But the people residing in the buffer zone are not happy. One of the residents, Virendra Singh, said in a EPW study that ESZ will further buffer the buffer zone and that already the buffer zone restricts many activities. The ESZ guidelines, issued in February 2011, maintains that felling of trees, drastic change in agriculture systems and commercial use of natural water resources, including groundwater harvesting and setting up of hotels and resorts, will be regulated in these areas. This has raised fear among the forest-dwelling communities who believe it will affect their livelihood and sustenance.  In 2013, due to public opposition, Corbett Mahotsav was cancelled. The event was the state's initiative to celebrate 75 years of the Corbett National Park. In 2014, when the villagers visited their local temple to pray for a good harvest, seven persons were arrested on serious charges under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, for forest and wildlife offences and were kept in custody for nine days. They were also charged for repairing the temple using cement and tiles, harming trees and entering the park area without permission. The village residents have organised together under the Eco-sensitive Zone Virodhi Sangarsh Samiti to oppose ESZ around the park. They say that with the implementation of the ESZ, all developmental activities in their villages and towns as well as their agricultural work will be affected. It would also affect education, healthcare and basic facilities such as electricity and water connection. The residents would also be denied permission to make permanent concrete houses or fence their properties. However, according to a report in 2019, while the forest department was enforcing the norms of the ESZ, the Jim Corbett administration had still not notified its ESZ. "In its draft notification, only a buffer of one kilometre has been provided for," the report says. In February 2020, the state decided to notify the 377 square kilometres of Corbett Tiger Reserve as ESZ. The government claims that to avoid the inclusion of any village in the area, the maximum area defined is 7.69 kilometres as opposed to 10 kilometres.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

No items found.

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Arrest/detention/imprisonment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

In 2014, when the villagers visited their local temple to pray for a good harvest, seven persons were arrested on serious charges under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, for forest and wildlife offences and kept in custody for nine days. They were also charged for repairing the temple using cement and tiles, harming trees and entering the park area without permission.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Jim Corbett National Park

Nature of Protest

Development of a network or collective

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest department, Forest administration of Jim Corbett National Park, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Eco Sensitive Zone Virodhi Sangharsh Samittee

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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