News Karnataka
Sunday, January 29 2023

Karnataka: Centre’s draft notification on Western Ghats opposed

Western Ghats
Photo Credit : IANS

Bengaluru: The classification of 56,826 square km of Western Ghats region including the area in State and other states as per the report of the Kasturirangan Committee by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has led to stiff opposition in the state.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had earlier clarified in a virtual meeting with Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, that classifying the Western Ghats region as a eco-sensitive zone will impact the life of people of the region and affect their livelihood. He added that the proposal was opposed by the people as well as the state government.

A meeting has been called condemning the move of the Central government under the leadership of Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on July 18.

The Central Government Ministry has released the draft notification in this regard last week and sought objections from respective States within 2 months.

Araga Jnanendra said on Wednesday that the meeting will take a resolution against the Central government condemning the recent draft notification seeking objections from the states.

The meeting will be attended by MLAs from the Western Ghat region of the state. They will discuss the pros and cons of the decision of the union government. The public opinion is against the classification of sensitive zones as it directly affects the life of people living in malnad (hilly) regions of the state.

The development of the region will suffer and it will cause severe setbacks in terms of development of the region. The Karnataka government has already rejected the Kasturirangan Committee report in this regard and made its opposition to implement the recommendations of the report.

The MLAs of the region have been pressurising the government to stick to its earlier stand.

The ruling BJP government had further taken a decision against the implementation of the Kasturirangan Committee report in the cabinet after elaborate discussions in this regard.

Karnataka has one of the largest forest cover in the country.

Experts have opined that opposition to the Kasturirangan Committee is disastrous for ecologically fragile Western Ghats.

The report proposes 37 per cent of the total area of Western Ghats, which is about 60,000 square kilometers, should be declared as eco-sensitive area (ESA).

Out of this, 20,688 sq km will fall in Karnataka state covering 1,576 villages.

The report has recommended prohibition on mining, quarrying, setting up of red category industries and thermal power projects.

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