Gujarat HC seeks info on Gir sanctuary structures

Gujarat HC seeks info on Gir sanctuary structures

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Thursday directed the state government to provide more information about the existence of commercial structures in different buffer zones, as per the new eco-tourism policy for Gir sanctuary, the last abode of Asiatic lions.

The division bench had earlier sought to know the number of commercial structures that existed in the 10-km buffer zone around the sanctuary. The government had submitted the data by filing four different affidavits, but the court insisted that the figures should be provided in terms of how many structures exist in which zone.

The judges commented that the existence of the structures within 1-km zone from the sanctuary is illegal and the government should give the number of structures existing in the area from 1 km to 2 km from the sanctuary

They also commented that a building’s height in the 2-km zone cannot be more than 13.5 metre.

The court also allowed five Congress party MLAs to join the proceedings as party. They have objected to certain provisions of the new eco-tourism policy that says that villagers should approach a newly formed government committee even to build a residential house. They have urged that the earlier provision of obtaining permission from local civic bodies should be restored.

The high court commented that it would not involve itself in granting or refusing permission to sealed units because it would appear as if the court was driving the policy. The judges also said that they were examining the policy.

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