Iritti: The Archdiocese of Thalassery has taken up the struggle against the conversion of human settlements around the Aralam and Kottiyoor wildlife sanctuaries into buffer zones. The decision was taken at a preliminary consultation meeting chaired by Thalassery Auxiliary Bishop Mar Joseph Pamplani at St. Mary’s Church Hall, Mangode to intensify the agitation demanding that the buffer zone should be zeroed and the ecologically sensitive forest should be made zero.

Mar Pamplani said that the land of the farmers who will be made a buffer zone through the declaration of the Ecologically Sensitive Zone will be turned into forest within five years and the farmers will have to voluntarily migrate from such land. The draft notification should be corrected to zero point. Mar Joseph Pamplani also demanded that the government and all-party representatives implement this demand if it is to save the farmer.

As the first phase, the Aralam panchayat level all party action committee will be formed on the 27th at 11 am in Edoor. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has issued a draft notification for the conversion of 10.136 sq km around Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary and 12.91 sq km around Kottiyoor Wildlife Sanctuary into Eco Zones (ESZs). While the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is 100 meters around, the Kottiyoor Wildlife Sanctuary is about 2.1 km away. It is estimated that thousands of homes will be directly affected and more than 2,000 farms will be indirectly affected.


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