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Kasturirangan report not a follow-up: Gadgil

Pune’s villages in Ambegaon,Bhor,Haveli,Junnar,Khed,Maval,Mulshi,Purandar and Velhe will be affected as per the new directive.

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Pune | Published: November 23, 2013 1:54:27 am

While nine villages in Pune district will be affected by the environment ministry’s notification banning mining,quarrying,construction of thermal plants,environmentalist Madhav Gadgil who had earlier submitted the report on eco-sensitive zones in Western Ghats has said that the Kasturirangan report is “totally different” and is not a follow-up on their report. Pune’s villages in Ambegaon,Bhor,Haveli,Junnar,Khed,Maval,Mulshi,Purandar and Velhe will be affected as per the new directive.

“They have not even consulted us. It is a totally different picture as we had strongly recommended that there should be gram sabha consultations and not just random decisions,” said Gadgil. Declining to comment further,he said the officials of environment department were the best persons to comment.

In the state,12 districts and more than 2,000 villages will be affected by the notification. In Goa,99 villages would be affected. Pune District Collector Vikas Deshmukh said he would follow the instructions once he receives the notification. “We will do as required by the ministry,” he said.

The order bans mining,quarrying,construction of thermal plants and big building complexes in ecologically sensitive areas as identified by the Kasturirangan Committee,which was said to be follow-up on the earlier Madhav Gadgil committee.

The Kasturirangan panel has recommended a ban on development activities in 60,000 sq km of ecologically sensitive area spread over Gujarat,Karnataka,Maharashtra,Goa,Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Districts in Maharashtra in which the notification will be applicable include Ahmednagar,Dhule,Kolhapur,Nandurbar,Nashik,Pune,Raigad,Ratnagiri,Sangli,Sindhudurge,Satara and Thane. The Centre,based on the Kasturirangan report,banned mining in ecologically fragile areas and restricted buildings to less than 20,000 sq ft in 123 villages. But the guidelines are not applicable for those who were given permission before April 17.

The ban restricts activities like mining for stones and sand,atomic energy projects and limits construction up to 20,000 sq.m or more,development of townships up to 50 hectares or more and with built-up area not more than 1.5 lakh sq m along with industries defined in the red category. “This in turn would affect all the proposed townships submitted to the ministry but were not given a green signal,” said a town planning department official.

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