Correct flaws in Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats: Chandy
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Sunday said the Kasturirangan panel report on the Western Ghats should be amended, correcting procedural lapses and giving practical exemptions to places considering the ground realities there.
Inaugurating a seminar on "Kasturirangan Report: An Evaluation", organised by the Kerala Wildlife Department and Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) here, he said conservation initiatives should be implemented with support and participation of people and without affecting their life.
"The Kasturirangan panel used remote sensing and aerial survey methods for zonal demarcation of land in Western Ghats. The usage of such techniques, without examining the ground reality, has caused many errors in the report. It should be corrected," he said.
The use of "erroneous method" had caused inclusion of many villages under Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) though there were only rubber plantations and no forest land, he said.
A practical approach should be adopted in calculation of population density also, considering the ground reality in such places, he said.
Though the number of affected villages had been reduced to 121 in the report compared to that of the Gadgil Committee report, people`s anxieties had not ceased completely, he said.
"Though Kasturi report is better compared to the Gadgil report, people still have anxieties regarding its implementation and the government cannot overlook them," Chief Minister said.
Saying that people had misconceptions on Ecologically Fragile Lands (EFL) and Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA), he said both of them were different concepts under different laws--the first under forest department and the latter under the district administration and pollution control board.
He also said he had met Defence Minister A K Antony in Delhi the other day and he had assured to intervene in the issue and take the matter up with those concerned.
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