State rejects Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats

State rejects Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats

Bengaluru: Reiterating its opposition to implementation of Kasturirangan Report on saving the eco-sensitive Western Ghat region, the State government has decided to urge the Centre to withdraw the third notification on the report.

The State Cabinet which met here yesterday took the decision to this effect. Karnataka has been opposing the report consistently and had filed its objections again after the report was notified for the third time on February 27, 2017.

“We will appeal to the Union government not to implement the report,” Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra told reporters after the meeting. The report, if implemented, would make life miserable for lakhs of people as it seeks to declare 1,576 villages in 10 districts — Belagaavi, Chikkamagaluru, Chamarajanagar, Kodagu, Hassan, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Mysuru and Shivamogga — as part of an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ), where sand mining, quarrying and development activities like construction of schools, hospitals, group housing would be banned,          Jayachandra said.

All MLAs cutting across party lines and Gram Panchayats representing the above regions have unanimously opposed the report and passed resolutions against the report, Jayachandra added.

In February this year, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) sought objections from the State government on declaration of 20,668 sq km spread across 11 districts in the Western Ghats range in the State as ESZ. The State government had previously requested the Centre not to declare populated areas, agricultural land and plantation regions as ESZs. However, this time the State government wants the entire Kasturirangan report itself to be withdrawn.

“The State government has taken sufficient steps to preserve and conserve forests, deemed forests, sanctuaries and protected areas in the Western Ghats,” Jayachandra said and added that the same will be conveyed to the Centre.

Public representatives and local residents have been opposing the implementation of the report. Once the final notification is issued by the MoEF, the earmarked zone will be “no-go area” for activities like mining, setting up industries etc.

April 20, 2017

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