News Karnataka
Saturday, October 08 2022

Karnataka: State to oppose implementation of Kasturirangan report

western ghats kasturirangan report
Photo Credit : IANS

Bengaluru: All party leaders, farmers in Karnataka have announced to launch series of agitations against the implementation of the recommendations of the Kasturirangan Committee on Western Ghats by the Centre from July 27.

Though the ruling BJP government in the State has assured of resorting to the legal course of action to prevent the Union government from doing so, the silence of 25 BJP MPs from the state in connection with the issue is being flayed. Out of 28 Lok Sabha seats, Karnataka had elected 25 BJP candidates in the last parliamentary elections.

The Central Government has issued a notification for the fourth time in connection with implementing the report. It has been decided to launch the agitation on July 27 in Hassan District. Bandh will be observed in Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru on July 28 and 29.

Classification of 56,826 square kilometers of Western Ghat region, including the area in Karnataka and other states, as per the report of the Kasturirangan Committee by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has raised stiff opposition in the State.

The Karnataka Government has already rejected the report and opposed the recommendations of the report. It is feared that development of the region will suffer with the implementation of the report.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had earlier clarified in the virtual meeting with Bhupinder Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change that classifying the Western Ghat region as a sensitive zone will impact the life of people of the region and affect their livelihood. He also added that the proposal is opposed by the people as well as the State Government.

A decision to this effect was during a the Cabinet meet.

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 square kilometers 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.

The protesters have planned to file petitions from villagers to the Ministry of Environment. It is also being planned to meet the Union Minister for Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change by the end of July.

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