'State will have the last word in Western Ghats'

Govt will write a strong letter about this to the Centre

With showers being a regular feature these days, the lakes on the outskirts of the city make a pretty picture with water lillies and lotus flowers in full bloom. A perfect place to find tranquility and beauty, for the weekend. DH photo

Talking to reporters at Bettadapura in Periyapatna taluk near here on Thursday, he said the State Government was  a democratically elected government and it will have the final word on its resources.

“I have sought the opinion of the Chief Minister and have asked the Government to write a strong letter to the Union Government, explaining them clearly the State Government’s stand,” he said.

Asked if the Government has gone through the guidelines of UNESCO and what the heritage tag would mean for the Western Ghats, he said the Government will hold discussions with the experts and a final decision taken in the Assembly.

“I am opposed to giving our sovereignity to foreign institutions. The opening of Western Ghats to the outside world will only spell disaster as the pristine forests will be open for tourists worldwide. Only 11 per cent of region in the State is covered with Nithyaharidwarna forest unlike United States which has a vast forest cover. The green cover shall not be threatened giving it a heritage tag and on the pretext of developing it as tourist destination.”

The increase in popularity of Bandipur and Nagarahole forests is showing the results in mushrooming of resorts, hotels and tourism development activity in and around the forests, he said adding though the ministry stance was clearly spelt out, the Government may also discuss the subject with the experts and arrive at a final decision in the cabinet and in the Assembly.

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