Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First:
Notification of a Sanctuary is a two step process:
- A preliminary notification is issued under Section 18 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and
- A final notification is issued after settlement of rights etc under Section 26 A
However, if the area proposed for notification is already a Reserved Forest, then a final notification can straight away be issued under Section 26 A.
In this question, tt is not clear whether the State Govt. has issued the first notification or final notification after the ‘project is in process’. If first notification was issued earlier then all permissions under Wildlife Act including prior permission of the Supreme Court need to be obtained.
For a specific response please respond to the following questions with accurate information:
- What is the nature of the project – A dam/resort/etc?
- Has it been approved ? If yes by whom? or is still under process?
- Was the area proposed a Reserved Forest earlier?