The Supreme Court directed that each protected forest should have an Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) of 1 kilometre. The top court also directed that no permanent structure will be allowed within the restricted zone, adding that mining within national wildlife sanctuary or national park will also not be permitted.
If the existing ESZ goes beyond 1 km buffer zone or if any statutory instrument prescribes a higher limit, then such extended boundary shall prevail.
These directions were passed by a Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and Aniruddha Bose. The Court directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests for each State and Union Territory to make a list of subsisting structures and other relevant details within the respective ESZs.