Bhubaneswar: In a high-level meeting chaired by the State Chief Secretary B K Patnaik, it was decided to specify sensitive zone for each sanctuary with proper verification of actual field situation. Chief Secretary Patnaik advised the Principal Secretary, Forest & Environment Raj Kumar Sharma to involve the concerned departments more specifically Revenue & Disaster Management, Housing & Urban Development and Steel & Mines Department in this exercise.
According to sources, these departments have also been asked to have direct involvement and active participation in defining the eco-sensitive zones. It is also understood that clear instructions have been given so that it is very important and significant exercise and should be performed with all sincere commitments in interest of the developmental intervention needed for people, protection of wild life and preservation of forest.
The issues relating to determination of distance between Sanctuary and Mining area was discussed in the meeting. Discussions reveal that in the meanwhile DGPS survey of the major mining areas is already been completed. Available data show ORSAC has completed DGPS survey of 220 mining lease areas. The major sanctuaries in Odisha include the Chilika bird sanctuary, Similipal National Park, Satkosia Tiger Reserve, wild life sanctuaries at Kothgarh Sunabedha, Debrigarh, Balukhand, Bhitarkanika, Badrama, Kuldiha wild life sanctuary, Baisiapalli, Kalarpat, Khalasuni, Hadgarh, Unshakothi, Chandka-Dampada, Nandankanan and Kapilash. The Forest Department has completed GPS survey of all the sanctuary areas. Chief Secretary Patnaik has directed experts in ORSAC to integrate these two sets of data in GIS domain and find out the distance. Patnaik has also advised experts to cross check the data through field visits wherever necessary. The PCCF has also been advised to take up DGPS survey of all reserve forest areas.
Principal Secretary Steel & Mines Rajesh Verma, Special Secretary Forest & Environment Sri S.S. Srivastav, PCCF Wild Life J.D. Sharma, CCF, Nodal R.N. Reddy along with other senior officers also participated in the meeting.