The Supreme Court has directed all state governments to complete within one year the process of settlement of the rights of people living inside over 500 national parks and sanctuaries. Justice G T Nanavati and Justice S C Aggarwal, hearing a petition filed by Worldwide Fund for Nature (India), asked the governments to invite objections within two months from those residing inside these sanctuaries and national parks. The non-settlement of these rights had resulted in forest land being diverted for residential, commercial and agricultural purposes. The judges said that hereafter, in any proposal to use forest land belonging to the national parks and sanctuaries, the concerned state governments should seek the view of the Indian Board of Wildlife.
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