“The state government has taken a clear stand against the implementation of the committee report. The same will be reflected in the report that the cabinet sub-committee is preparing. We will submit our report to the government by this month end,” Karnataka minister for forest and ecology Anand Singh told ET. Singh is the chairman of the sub-committee to review Kasturirangan report.
He said, the state is of the view that implementing recommendations of the Kasturirangan report will affect livelihood in villages as it will require eviction of a large number of people from eco-sensitive areas. “We will ensure no red category industries and activities like quarrying and crushers will be permitted inside ESA, but we are against the complete prohibition of activities,” Singh said.
The state may also separately approach NGT to implement in the case and raise its apprehensions, said the minister.
The issue has gathered momentum in the backdrop of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asking the Centre to notify ESA by December end. Several villages in the state’s Malnad region have threatened to boycott gram panchayat elections to be held on December 22 and 27.
Members of the central government appointed high-level working group, with K Kasturirangan as its chairman, came up with a comprehensive report on Western Ghats in 2013 proposing several measures that six states must take to protect the Western Ghats mountain range. The report aimed to bring about 37% of the Western Ghats under ESA zones.
Karnataka has been against implementing one of the major recommendations of the report to notify over 1,500 villages as ESA.
In the recently concluded winter session of the legislature, several MLAs including those from the BJP urged the state to take a firm stand on the issue.
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