Meet on Kasturirangan panel report today

Meet on Kasturirangan panel report today

A  meeting of jurisdictional legislators and forest departments officials has been convened on Wednesday to discuss the state government’s response to Kasturirangan’s report on Western Ghats.

Replying to a discussion on the fourth draft notification on Kasturirangan report on preservation of the Western Ghats in Legislative Assembly, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said members of a Cabinet sub-committee constituted to study the pros and cons of the report will also be present at the meeting.

Earlier, D N Jeevaraj (BJP) urged the government to keep out populated areas, agricultural land and plantation regions from being declared Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESAs) in the Western Ghats by following the Kerala model.

sabhas held meetings to discuss areas classified as ESAs in draft notifications of the Kasturirangan report on preservation of the Western Ghats. The outcome of the gram sabha meetings along with necessary physical surveys were then submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forests seeking exemption of certain areas classified as ESAs, Jeevaraj said.

He said the state government should take steps to hold gram sabha meetings in 1,592 villages coming under ESAs and hold natural and cultural landscaping in each of the villages.

K G Bopaiah (BJP) said the government has been confining itself to satellite survey while responding to  draft notifications (there have been four so far) on declaration of 20,668 sqkm spread across 11 districts in the Western Ghats range in the state as ESA. The government has time till April 27 to respond to the fourth draft notification issued by the ministry and should follow the Kerala model with immediate effect, he demanded.