Western Ghat ecology expert panel to submit report on Jun 30

Environmentalist Madhav Gadgil, heading the Western Ghats Ecology Experts Committee set up by the Union Ministry of Environment told PTI that the report addresses various issues crucial for the policy decisions of the state government.

"The Central and state government needed the report by June 30 as they have to take decision on various issues like moratorium on the mining in Goa and mining-related issues in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg," Gadgil said.

He said the final report could not be prepared as they are waiting for the feedback from a few members.

"We will be able to submit final report by August 31, 2011," he said, adding he has already intimated about the extended deadline to Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh.

The Goa government and influential mining lobby in the state is waiting for the report as it is expected to suggest about the buffer zone for various wildlife sanctuaries.
The state currently has zero buffer zone, which was rejected by National Wildlife Board headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The environmentalists in the state have recommended that there should be at least three-km buffer zone for the wildlife sanctuaries so that the mining activities do not obstruct the wild animals.

The Gadgil panel is also mandated to consider the grievance that provisions of Forest Conservation Act and Forest Rights Act have not been applied fully in the region.

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