Centre cannot take 'unilateral' decisions on Western Ghats: Minister

Centre cannot take 'unilateral' decisions on Western Ghats: Minister

Centre cannot take 'unilateral' decisions on Western Ghats: Minister

Karnataka Government today asserted that the Centre cannot take ''unilateral'' decisions on declaring Western Ghat forest range as heritage spots without the consent of the state.

"We need not learn lessons from any one on this issue.We are also concerned about conserving the Western Ghats",State's Minister for Forest and Ecology C H Vijayashankar told reporters here, joining issue with Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh who reportedly resented Karnataka's objection to accord World Heritage tag to 10 natural sites in the Western Ghats.

He said he would visit all the ten destinations of the Western Ghats in the coming days to elicit views from elected represenatatives, locals and other experts.

Vijayashankar, who recently said the state will not accept the heritage tag for Western Ghats, said "my views have been endorsed by several people. There is no opposition to it."
The minister said in the event of people expressing views against declaring Western Ghats as heritage zone then the Centre should respect the state's views.

Seeking to defend his stand, he said there was an apprehension among people that accepting a declaration of Western Ghats as heritage spot would impede development works.

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