Updated: December 4, 2021 9:44:11 pm
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday told the Centre that the state is opposed to the implementation of the Kasturirangan Committee report on Western Ghats.
Participating in the virtual meeting on implementation of Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats chaired by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, Bommai said that declaring Western Ghats as ecologically sensitive zone would adversely affect the livelihood of people in the region.
“Kasturirangan report has been prepared based on the satellite images, but the ground reality is different. So the Karnataka government and the people living in the region are opposed to implementation of the Kasturirangan report. The decision had been taken after exhaustive discussions with people of the Western Ghat region and officials,” the CM said.
The Karnataka government has repeatedly rejected the implementation of the Kasturirangan report. Headed by former head of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Dr K Kasturirangan, the report recommended 37 percent of the Western Ghat area as an ecologically sensitive area (ESA). The committee also recommended a blanket ban on mining and quarrying. In Karnataka, the government has pointed out that the implementation of the report would impact 1,576 villages spread across 20,668 sq km of Western Ghats region in the state.
“Karnataka has the distinction of being one of the states with extensive forest cover. Our government has taken extreme care to protect the biodiversity of Western Ghats. People of the region have adopted agriculture and horticultural activities in an eco-friendly manner. Priority has been accorded for environment protection under the Forest Protection Act. In this background bringing one more law that would affect the livelihood of the local people is not appropriate,” Bommai said.
The Union Minister assured the state that officers from his department would visit Karnataka for talks on the matter, the CM’s office said.
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