Eco-sensitive zone: GPs pass resolutions against Kasturirangan report

Gram panchayats in the district have started passing resolutions against the implementation of recommendations of Dr Kasturirangan in his report on conservation of Western Ghats. The GPs have been urging the State government not to implement the recommendations.

Devarapura, Thithimathi, Mayamudi, Kanooru, Kutta, Balele, Bettageri, Bittangala, Napoklu, Nittur and Bhagamandala gram panchayats have already passed resolutions.

Kasturirangan Committee has identified 55 revenue villages in Kodagu district as eco-sensitive zone. It restricts development works in eco-sensitive zone. If the recommendations are implemented, people of these villages will be in distress. 

The Central government has accepted Kasturirangan report and has directed six States, in Western Ghats, to make arrangements to implement the recommendations. There was a huge protest in Kerala against Kasturirangan report.

Bettageri GP Vice-President Beppurana Medappa said, villages have been included in eco-sensitive zone list without bringing it to the notice of the locals. “There was no in depth study on the recommendations of the committee. It has not been discussed in public. The opinion of local residents have not been collected. If the recommendations are implemented, forest laws will become strong. The residents of the region cannot live peacefully. With prohibition on quarry and sand mining, what development work can be initiated in villages. Even a house cannot be constructed. In the name of conservation, there is a conspiracy to evict forest dwellers,” he said.

He said, his GP has already passed a resolution against the implementation of the recommendations. “The resolution has already been sent to the State government. The State should impress upon the Centre against implementing the same.”

Along with the GPs, Kodava Samaja, Gowda Samaja and Adivasigala Sanghatane too have opposed the recommendations. Kodagu District Kannada Sahitya Parishat President T P Ramesh said, the issue on conservation of nature in Kodagu was likely to be discussed in the 80th All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelan.

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