Following the Kerala government’s footsteps, state’s environment department will ask the state biodiversity board to fine-tune boundaries of ecologically sensitive areas (ESA) for “natural” and “cultural” landscape by physical verification and submit a proposal to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests at the earliest, sources said.
The department was forced into action following the MoEF’s March 4 memorandum that stated it would consider the recommendations of the states in the Western Ghats region on the K Kasturirangan report only if they demarcate ESAs by physical verification and submit their reports to the ministry.
After accepting a report on Western Ghats by a panel chaired by Kasturirangan “in-principle”, the MoEF had written to the six states of Western Ghats regions — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu — in January seeking their comments and views on the report.
“The ‘ground truthing’ to differentiate between natural and cultural landscape is yet to be done by us. We are yet to submit a proposal on Kasturirangan report to the MoEF,” said R A Rajeev, principal secretary of environment department.