'Livelihood of people in Western Ghats ensured'

'Livelihood of people in Western Ghats ensured'

While declaring certain regions in the Western Ghats ecologically sensitive, the government would ensure the livelihoods of those residing there is not harmed, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

Chairing a meeting of MPs from the stakeholder states, the minister said declaring pockets of the Ghats section Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) will not threaten agriculture, plantation or cottage activities.

Though the government would ban excessive commercial mining and polluting industries, it will not evict families from the region.

With demands that the government should allow sand mining in ESA regions, Javadekar said he would study the issue.

He said the meeting attended by 22 MPs from Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu called for sustainable development in the Ghats region. Many MPs asked government to exclude plantations, agriculture, people and habituated areas must be kept out of the ESA.

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