'Kasturirangan report is unscientific'

The farmers who gathered at a meeting held to discus the implications of the Kasturirangan report on conservation of Western Ghats, unanimously condemned the recommendations in the report and termed it as totally unscientific.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the Udupi district Raita Sangha, farmer Sathish Shetty alleged that the recommendations are anti-farmer and will have its impact on the farmers. The report will increase man-animal conflict. Wild animal menace is on rise in the recent years. 

Another farmer said that the report should be immediately dropped as it is prepared without consulting the locals or referring the local environment. He added the areas like Hebri and other villages should be dropped from the purview of the report.

Speaking at the meeting, Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake has said that the government has constituted a  cabinet sub-committee to look into the implications of the Kasturirangan report. However, prior to that the government will initiate discussions in all Gram Sabhas in Gram Panchayat coming under the jurisdiction of the Western Ghats, before finalising  the implementation of the report.

The Minister added that the discussion in Gram Sabhas will focus on  the pros and cons of the report. Deliberations will give a clear picture and will lead to a concrete decision. He also added that deputy commissioner will convene a meeting to discuss on the gram sabhas shortly.

DC Dr M T Reju said that the report recommends closure of mining and sand mining activities, quarry units functioning inside the forest. As many as 35 villages in the district are covered in the Kasturirangan report. The report has included the villages based on the satellite survey. These areas are 20 per cent ecologically sensitive and hence there is no possibility of dropping some villages. However, the report do not have anything that will have impact on farming activities, he added. 

The DC said that there are four to five sand mining units operating in these notified villages. There is no provision for the renewal of license for these mining units. There are about 40 crusher units, of which 30 are operating illegally in the notified villages, he added. 

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