Uttarakhand Recognises Binsar as ESZ, People Fear Losing Access to Forest Resources

Reported by

Tarun Joshi

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 13, 2016

September 13, 2016

Updated on

September 13, 2016

Location of Conflict

Binsar

Almora

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Protected Areas

Proposal to recognise Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary as Eco-Sensitive Zone

(

Eco-Sensitive Zone

)

People Affected by Conflict

20798

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

4707

ha

Starting Year

2013

State

Uttarakhand

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

In 1988, the forest department, under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, declared Binsar forest as Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary to protect the forest's oak trees. About 65 villages in Binsar forest block and 15 villages in Rithagad forest block fall within the boundary of this sanctuary. 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 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. As a result, the area around Binsar Sanctuary - spread over 47.07 square kilometres - was to be declared an ESZ in 2013. In 2015, the residents of Almora launched an agitation demanding the proposal to be scrapped. If Binsar Sanctuary is declared an ESZ, the local people will be banned from carrying out any activity in the area, including repairing their houses and accessing water bodies. They will also be unable to collect fuel and fodder. Preparation of agricultural goods and baskets from Ringal is a major source of income for the forest-dwelling community, but they will lose access to this livelihood with the recognition of Binsar Sanctuary as an ESZ. While protesting against the government's proposal, the people have also demanded a settlement of their land rights. The official notification for the proposal was issued in 2019 despite the opposition. In July that year, the villagers sent a memorandum to the MoEFCC to revoke the notification. According to them, Binsar was notified as an ESZ even after seven years of public opposition.

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

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-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

Forest Rights Act of 2006

Legislations/Policies Involved

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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:

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

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:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Protests/marches

Objections as part of official procedures

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest department, Forest administration of Binsar Sanctuary, 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:

Uttarakhand Sansadhan Panchayat, Sarpanch Sangtan, Kishan Majdur Sangtan

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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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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