Panaji: The Ministry of Environment and
Forests has extended till December the moratorium imposed on
projects in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra,
seeking environmental clearance under the environmental impact
assessment (EIA) notification.
In a notification issued on October 25, MOEF advisor
Nalini Bhat said the moratorium has been extended because the
ministry has received the report of the Western Ghat Ecology
Expert Panel (WGEEP) and it is now under consideration.
Both Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts fall in the range
of Western Ghats. WGEEP, headed by renowned environmentalist
Madhav Gadgil, has prepared a detailed report, which would be
a roadmap for this eco-sensitive habitat.
Former Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam
Ramesh had decided to impose moratorium till December 31,
2010, after locals complained to the ministry about clearing
of power projects of over 33,000 MW in these districts.
The decision to impose the moratorium was taken after
receiving representations expressing concern about the
environmental impact of the projects being proposed and those
being implemented in the region.
The locals had also taken objection to various other
projects like ports and ore mining leases. The Union ministry
had referred the matter to WGEEP.
The moratorium was earlier extended till August 30, 2011,
awaiting the report from Gadgil Committee, which was submitted