Task force for total ban on mining in Western Ghats

Interim report to be presented today

The task force, which was set up a year ago, is ready with its interim report. Task Force chairman Ananth Hegde Ashisar will present the report to the Chief Minister on Saturday.

Prominent among the recommendations in the interim report is a blanket ban mining the Western Ghats. The task force is of the view that imposing a ban on all sorts of mining activities in the region is necessary to safeguard flora and fauna of the region.

The Task Force has suggested involvement of the local public in government’s activities to protect the forest resources. It has recommended changes in the existing rules so that youths in the Naxal-affected areas get preference in the recruitment for lower-rank posts in Forest Department.

Task Force has also asked the government to involve tribal people in Forest Department’s activities to tackle smuggling of forest resources.

Massive afforestation

The Task Force recommends massive afforestation programme, Vriksharopana Abhiyana, in government land with multiple local and wild species. It has said the government should ensure that the Abhiyana is implemented effectively in all districts.

Effective implementation of the ban on use of plastic in the ecologically sensitive areas is also one of the recommendation of the Task Force. It has suggested public awareness programme to avoid use of plastic. Ashisar said that the task force had been recommending various measures on different issues since its inception. The interim report would consist all those recommendations made throughout the year.

Ashisar said the Task Force has also made recommendations on averting sea erosion in the coastal region. It had suggested that plantation along the stonewall, constructed to avoid sea erosion, would be of more help. The government should involve officers of Forest Department while planning programmes to tackle sea erosion, he said.

Highlights

* Blanket ban on mining in Western Ghats
* Involve tribals in forest areas to tackle smuggle of forest resources
* Recruit youths of Naxal areas in Forest Dept
* Conduct survey of Devarakadu & Nagabana in Western Ghats
* Implement plastic ban effectively in the ghats region

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