Won’t set up authority for Western Ghats: Centre

Karnataka High Court

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has informed the Karnataka High Court that the Centre will not constitute any authority on Western Ghats.

During the hearing on a public interest litigation filed by advocate Geeta Mishtra seeking directions to constitute state Western Ghats Ecology Authority on Friday, the Centre told the court that it has a policy on conservation of Western Ghats and it was not necessary to constitute specific authorities for different eco-sensitive zones in the country.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur was hearing the matter.

G R Mohan, advocate for the petitioner, submitted that the draft notification of 2018 points out that the Western Ghats, which spread over Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu was eco-sensitive and sand mining and other commercial activities should be prohibited there.

Chief Justice Oka observed that constitution of the authority is policy matter and the court will not interfere in it. But the ministry should consider the 2018 draft notification of prohibiting the mining activities in the Western Ghat during the final notification, the court noted.

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