CM opposes Centre's decision on eco-sensitive zone



Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna today strongly opposed the Centre's recent notification declaring a vast stretch of land from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi on either side of the Bhagirathi river as an eco-sensitive zone, saying it would adversely affect the infrastructure development projects in the area.

Bahuguna said several infrastructure development projects are in the pipeline in the region and the Centre's move will tantamount to stalling nearly all of them including construction of bridges, Border Roads Organisation's realignment work and flood control measures.

"The state cabinet will soon meet to discuss the negative fallouts of the decision and I will take up the issue with the Centre asking it to reconsider the move and thrash out a middle-of-the-road solution," Bahuguna said.

"Roads and bridges are to be built in the region which bore the brunt of natural calamities last year. With a notification like this we will not be able to take up those projects," he said.

However, the chief minister assured that the state government will discuss the matter with the Centre and leave no stone unturned to ensure that the notification does not affect development work in the region.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a notification recently declaring 41 km area on either side of the Bhagirathi as eco-sensitive zone.

This will impose restrictions on quarrying, commissioning hydro power projects on Bhagirathi and construction of roads in the prohibited area which includes villages prone to natural calamities like cloudbursts and flash floods.

It will also impose a blanket ban on felling of trees and setting up of factories in the area.

PTI