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The forest department, Rajasthan has finalized the Zonal Master Plan (ZMP)of the Eco-Sensitive zone (ESZ) of Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary. The masterplan now clearly addresses the biological and environmental issues of Nahargarh ESZ spread over 7731.07 ha.

The zonal master plan places strong emphasis on conservation, protection, and potential expansion of eco-tourism. It prescribes zoning and development control standards in accordance with the Gazetted Notification (dated March 08,2019 by government of India), for sustainable tourist activities in the eco-sensitive zone.

To simplify the same, the total area under Nahargarh ESZ has been categorized in three zones: Wildlife Sanctuary, Zone 1B and Zone 1C that clearly defines the land use of the core and the buffer zone.

According to the zonal masterplan, the total developable area in Nahargarh ESZ would be increased from existing 648.42 Ha to 1794.41 Ha as per MDP 2025, in zone 1B from existing area 306.57 Ha to 905.66 Ha and in zone 1C from the existing 341.85 to 843.75 Ha as per MDP 2025.

This might bring relief to the lease holders in the area as in all three segments land set aside for residential purposes is the maximum. However proposed Land use in Nahargarh ESZ drastically cuts down on commercial, mixed, and industrial activities. Zone 1B lays maximum land use emphasis on circulation, PSP (Public & Semi-public) and recreational. And zone 1C while drastically cutting down on commercial and industrial use, lays maximum emphasis on PSP increasing the land use from existing 9.26 Ha to 389.58 Ha.

According to the ZMP prepared by the forest department in consultation with Malviya National Institute of technology, MNIT, JDA, Department of Tourism and DoIT&C, “If any activity is prohibited under ESZ notification dated 08-03-2019 and by any court orders, that prohibition would prevail over the activities allowed as per prevailing Master Development Plan/Zonal Development Plan of Jaipur.

For instance, new resorts would not be allowed within Zone 1B of the ESZ, though it is allowed as per prevailing Master Development Plan/Zonal Development Plan of Jaipur.

On the other hand, if any activity is allowed as per ESZ notification but not as per prevailing Master Development Plan/Zonal Development Plan of Jaipur, then necessary permission including land use change would be required, from the competent authority before undertaking any such project.

While no new commercial resorts will be permitted within one-km area of the protected area, there is respite for the existing establishments with valid proof of operations prior to 08.03.2019 ESZ notification of Nahargarh.

Besides, since the area is predominantly a tourist attraction, the ZMP also highlights the infrastructure requirements and addresses issues related to traffic management, public transport, tourism strategy and facilities etc in detail besides recommending eco-tourism and non-forestry activities.

And among the 13 villages under the ESZ it identifies Chokhalyawas & Singwana villages suitable to be developed for eco-tourism activities. “In these villages farm-based eco-tourism & model village-based tourism can be developed,” recommends the zonal masterplan!


Rachna Singh The writer is a senior special correspondent at First India

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