The National Green Tribunal (NGT) said on Wednesday that as the process to declare Keoti village in Rewa district as a biological diversity heritage site was on, there should be no mining and construction of roads in the village till further orders.
Om S Shrivastav, counsel for ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) and national biodiversity board said the case was filed by biodiversity management committee Keoti in Rewa district.
He said a committee could be formed by any group of people from any geographical area, who think their area had some unique plant species, animal species or traditional knowledge, because of which it could be declared as a biological diversity site under Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
The directions were given by a two-member bench comprising justice Sonam Phintso Wangdi, judicial member and Dr Satyawan Singh Garbyal, expert member. Next hearing in the case will be on March 30.
Priyam Rawat, counsel of the state biodiversity board informed the Tribunal that on the basis of the request of the applicant bio diversity management committee, Rewa, the process was on for identifying biological diversity in Keoti for declaring it as a biological diversity heritage site.
The NGT had said last year it had observed that there were no guidelines framed for implementation of the act and the rules pertaining to the biodiversity cess benefit sharing as well as declaration of the area in question as biological diversity heritage site.
In December last year, NGT directed the state government to adopt the criteria and the guidelines for identification of such heritage sites.
On Wednesday, Sachin Verma, counsel for the state government submitted to Tribunal a copy of the MP Biodiversity Rules, 2004 framed under Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
“We are thus satisfied that a rule now exists. However, in so far as the criteria for declaration of an area as bio diversity heritage site is concerned, guidelines still does not appear to have been framed,” the NGT order said.
NGT directed the state government to seek necessary instructions from the concerned authorities and submit an affidavit before the Tribunal on the facts related to the issue.
Under Section 37 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002, the state government in consultation with local bodies can notify in the official gazette, areas of biodiversity importance as biodiversity heritage sites (BHS)
State government in consultation with the Central government can frame rules for the management and conservation of such BHS.