The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change at the center has rejected Kerala Government’s plea to avoid 424 square kilometers inhabited area in the implementation of the Kasturirangan report on Wednesday. The official meeting with the state and central ministry officials presented that the implementation only can be accomplished based on population in the villages.
The Kasturi Rangan panel report was submitted on 15th April 2013 and recommended that the increasing population, mining including sand, quarrying, dams etc.. should be banned in the Ecological Sensitive areas (ESA) within 5 years. The construction of more than 20000 square kilometers and hydroelectric power plants must be prevented. The report also suggested that not to allow thermal plants, red & orange industries which were highly polluting.
Madhav Gadgil, Ex-officio chairman of the Western Ghats Expert Ecology panel proposed the total area 1,64,279 kilometer which comes under the Western Ghats, an area of 1,29,037 squire kilometer has identified as eco-sensitive. But in the Kasturirangan report, this has been substantially reduced to 59,940 square kilometers. The report brought 3,115 square kilometers of cultural lands under natural landscape, this lead to confusion and the people went uproar against the report.
The state government appealed that the committee included many ecologically non- sensitive areas under the ESA Zone and denied many of the sensitive areas. It will directly affect the farmers of the areas.But now the government only have a choice to appeal the supreme court for the final decision.