Free Press Journal

Goa to seek scrapping of notification on Western Ghats


Panaji: Goa’s BJP Government will ask the incoming Narendra Modi administration to scrap a notification issued on the basis of a controversial report that identifies a major part of the coastal State as ecologically sensitive area, where commercial activities are to be curbed.

This was stated by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who said Goa was totally opposed to the notification, issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) late last year and would like the new Government to withdraw it.

“We have been opposing the notification based on the Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats conservation. You cannot put a major portion of the state in ecologically fragile area category,” he told reporters here today.

The Chief Minister said the State will take up this issue on a priority basis after the Modi-led Government takes charge next week.

A panel headed by K Kasturirangan, a noted space scientist, was set up by MoEF to study the Gadgil Committee report on the Western Ghats.

The Gadgil panel had faced opposition from States for recommending that almost three-fourth of the hills, including plantations, cultivated lands and large habitations, in the Ghats be turned into a restricted development zone with an over-arching authority to regulate the region superseding the elected authorities’ role.

Parrikar said “the State is not asking for scrapping the Kasturirangan report or Gadgil Committee report. These reports are not scientific or technical studies. The Goa Government wants that these reports be used for further scientific study of the Ghats.”