Central Govt declared part of the Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary as eco-sensitive zone

Bhubaneswar: Union Government has declared part of the Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary as an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ).
The notification declares 21.5 square km area out of the sanctuary’s 85 sq km as ESZ, including 30 villages.
The Central Government has asked the State Government to draft a Zonal Master Plan, within a period of two years in consultation with local people, to provide for “restoration of denuded areas, conservation of existing water bodies, management of catchment areas, watershed management, groundwater management, soil and moisture conservation, needs of the local community and such other aspects of the ecology and environment that need attention”.
It added that the plan will factor in improvement of all infrastructure and activities to be more efficient and eco-friendly.
It should be noted that the sanctuary, between Puri and Konark, extends up to the Bay of Bengal. Situated on the mouth of Prachi river, it has a diverse variety of flora including cashew, animals like black bucks, spotted deer, hyenas, jungle cats, monitor lizards and marine turtles, and supports different mangrove vegetation.