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About Tal Chhapar Sanctuary


The renowned Tal Chhapar Blackbuck Sanctuary in Churu, Rajasthan, recently secured protection against a state proposal to shrink the area of its Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ).


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Tal Chhapar Sanctuary
  2. What are Eco-Sensitive Zones?

About Tal Chhapar Sanctuary

  • On the edge of the Great Indian Thar Desert is where you’ll find the Tal Chhapar Sanctuary.
  • The most graceful antelope seen in India, the “Blackbuck,” has its own particular home, called Tal Chhapar.
  • In 1966, it received the designation of sanctuary.
  • Tal Chhapar was a hunting preserve owned by the former Bikaner royal family.
  • The Rajasthani term “Tal” means “plane land.”
  • This sanctuary has a largely level landscape with a thin, low-lying area combined. It has broad, vast grasslands with dispersed Acacia and Prosopis plants that give it the appearance of a typical Savanna.
  • Tal Chhapar is an ideal place to see Blackbucks which are more than a thousand in number here. It is a good place to see the desert animals and reptile species.
  • The sanctuary, which spans an area of 7.19 sq km, has also been the focus of a significant effort by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) for the conservation of raptors.

What are Eco-Sensitive Zones?

  • Eco Sensitive Zones are fragile areas around protected areas declared by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • They are areas notified by the MoEFCC around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
  • The purpose of declaring ESZs is to create some kind of “shock absorbers” to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas.
  • Among activities prohibited in the eco-sensitive zone are hydroelectric projects, brick kilns, commercial use of firewood and discharge of untreated effluents in natural water bodies or land areas.
  • No new commercial hotels and resorts shall be permitted within 1 km of the boundary of the protected area or up to the extent of the eco-sensitive zone, whichever is nearer, except for small temporary structures for eco-tourism activities.

Activities Allowed in ESZs

  • Prohibited activities: Commercial mining, saw mills, industries causing pollution (air, water, soil, noise etc), establishment of major hydroelectric projects (HEP), commercial use of wood, Tourism activities like hot-air balloons over the National Park, discharge of effluents or any solid waste or production of hazardous substances.
  • Regulated activities: Felling of trees, establishment of hotels and resorts, commercial use of natural water, erection of electrical cables, drastic change of agriculture system, e.g. adoption of heavy technology, pesticides etc, widening of roads.
  • Permitted activities: Ongoing agricultural or horticultural practices, rainwater harvesting, organic farming, use of renewable energy sources, adoption of green technology for all activities.

-Source: The Hindu


April 2024