BJP, JD(S) trying to encash Kasturirangan report

As many as 55 villages in Kodagu identified as eco-sensitive zones

The Kasturirangan Commission report on Western Ghats, which has become a political issue in Kerala for the current election, has taken shape in a similar manner in Kodagu district too.

Major political parties, including the BJP and the JD(S), which have opposed the implementation of the recommendations of the report, have been flaying the Congress at the Centre and the State, giving a political colour to the issue.

Furthermore, opposition parties in the State are taking a dig at the Central and the State governments for failing to exclude human habitation areas of Western Ghats from eco-sensitive zone.

Following strong demand in Kerala, the Central government has given its nod to exclude human habitation areas from eco-sensitive zone limits in Kerala. In Kerala, the Kasturirangan report has identified 13,108 sq km land as eco-sensitive. Of this, 886 sq km is human habitat, agriculture land and plantation.

Eco-sensitive zone

Therefore, the Kerala government urged the Central government to exclude the said area from eco-sensitive zone, for which the Centre has agreed. Opposition party leaders in Kodagu are questioning, why did not the Karnataka government appeal to the Centre, requesting it to amend the rules.

As many as 1,500 villages, including 55 villages in Kodagu, have been identified in the State as eco-sensitive zone.

The BJP leaders have been saying that two of the recommendations — to ban single crop system and use of fertilisers for cultivation — will affect agriculturists. Why not the Congress government try to prevent this, they ask.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, BJP leader Addanda Cariappa said, the BJP had given a bandh call opposing the implementation of the report.

But, it withdrew the call owing to the assurance from Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, who said that the recommendations will not be implemented without consulting the public. But, the State government has not taken any steps so far to stop the implementation of the report, he said.

JD(S) district president V P Shashidhar said, elected representatives from the BJP and the Congess have failed to explain to the Central government about the problems faced by people due to the implementation of the report.

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