Dec. 31, 2020

Tribal communities have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the Centre’s notification classifying 121 villages around the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Narmada district as eco-sensitive zones.


  • Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in Gujarat state, located in the western Satpura Range south of the Narmada River.

  • It shares a common boundary with Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Why are tribal communities protesting against the notification?

  • Firstly, as per the provisions of the notification, land falling in the eco-sensitive zone cannot be transferred for non-agricultural use for commercial, industrial or residential purposes. Any land that needs to be transferred can be done so only after approval from the state government.

  • Second, a process has been initiated to include the state government as the co-owner of the land in the 121 villages.

  • Third, they feel that it could dilute the “power” vested with villagers under the Panchayat (Extension of Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, implemented in areas notified under Schedule V of the Constitution.