RS MP Husain Dalwai writes to Union Environment Minister

Mumbai: City-based environmentalists have raised concern on steps that are being taken to protect the eco-sensitive regions of Western Ghats by the Union Environment Ministry based on the recommendations of Kasturirangan report.

A draft notification released by Environment Ministry has identifies areas in each of six Western Ghats states which needs to be protected as Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) based on the recommendations of the Kasturirangan Report.

Rajya Sabha MP Husain Dalwai,  in a letter to Minister of Environment and Forest Anil Madhav Dave, also spoke on draft notification on ecological sensitive areas in Western Ghats.

The actual notification was not available in regional languages in which people could have understood and they were misinformed about the notification, said Dalwai in the letter.

Activists claimed that, only 37 percent was declared as protected area in the recommendations mentioned in the Kasturirangan report, while Madhav Gadgil report has divided the entire region of Western Ghats into three zones that offers maximum protection.

Stalin D from NGO ‘Vanashakti’ said, “The Kasturirangan report was prepared without personally visiting the areas that needs to be declared as eco-sensitive zone. Both the reports must be reconciled first before being adopted for implementation. Also, the reports are being prepared without giving importance to the wildlife conservation.”

Environmentalists have also alleged that the environment ministry has succumbed to pressure from mining and quarrying industries. “The ministry has diluted the norms and have silently supported the other industries like mining to help them continue to carry out the activities,” added Stalin.

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