Kasturirangan report: Cabinet panel hikes ceiling for eco-sensitive area

Kasturirangan report: Cabinet panel hikes ceiling for eco-sensitive area

Kasturirangan report: Cabinet panel hikes ceiling for eco-sensitive area

 M Madan Gopal, additional chief secretary of the department of forests, environment and ecology, said on Tuesday that the Cabinet sub-committee had reduced the expanse of eco-sensitive area in the Western Ghats of the State from 19,000 sq km to 13,000 sq km.

Gopal said that the Kasturirangan panel had recommended that any region with 20 per cent forest area should be considered eco-sensitive. But the sub-committee had enhanced the limit to 50 per cent. This way, it has made several changes in the interests of people, Gopal said.

He was speaking at a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee with people’s representatives and social welfare organisations on the Kasturirangan panel report here.

He said that seven lakh hectares of land coming under the purview of the Forest department would be handed over to the Revenue department. However, it is mandatory that the land is used for development works.

Politicians cutting across party lines urged the sub-committee to convey to the Centre that people of the district favour the complete rejection of the report.

They said that the implementation of even a single recommendation of the report would not only affect development activities, but also livelihood of people in Malnad region.

The tribal people too would be affected. Existing laws are enough to conserve the forests, they said.

B Ramanath Rai, chairman of the sub-committee and Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology, said that as per the directions of the High Court, eviction notices had been served on all those carrying out farming on government land.

However, notices served on farmers having less than five acres of land would be withdrawn, Rai said.
DH News Service

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