Buffer zones outside sanctuary will now have eco-tourism projects

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 09 October 2015 21:23 IST

Goa government has decided to issue an ordinance, allowing eco-tourism projects and agro-based projects in the buffer zone, outside the sanctuaries.

The cabinet today decided to allow agricultural projects as well as tourism projects, but without any concrete structures, like tents, restaurants etc, within one kilometre of the sanctuary borders.

“The ordinance makes an amendment to the Town and Country Planning Act and it would be sent to the Governor for consent”, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar announced at the cabinet briefing.

The buffer zones were earmarked as eco-sensitive zones, one km beyond the sanctuary borders, after prolonged deliberations.

The issue had become crucial due to rampant mining activity allowed by destroying the flora and fauna of the forest areas along the Sahyadri range.

“But we have now decided to allow eco-friendly projects, which would also give boost to the hinterland tourism while providing employment to the people in this belt”, said Parsekar.

As per this ordinance, five per cent of the area would be allowed to develop with eco-friendly or make-shift temporary structures, provided the owner should own minimum 20,000 sq mts of land. 

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