With some states yet to submit their views on the contentious Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats, the Environment Ministry could extend the deadline which could push back final notification of the report. An indication to this effect was given by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy after a meeting with Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Chandy, accompanied by his Minister for Forest and Environment Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, met Javadekar and placed Kerala’s view that ecological and non-ecological sensitive zones should co-exist in 119 villages that were identified as ecological sensitive areas (ESAs) in the state.
Arguing that Kerala’s case is different from other states, he said, “Complete ESAs cannot practically exist in Kerala… Both ESA and non-Ecological Sensitive Villages would co-exist in the 119 villages that were identified as ESAs in the state. As far as ESA is concerned, we do not have any problems pertaining to forest and no man’s land, which belongs to the government and not in any agricultural use.”
He said the final notification is expected to be delayed by another two months as a few states are yet to submit their views on the Kasturirangan report. The final notification was earlier expected to be issued by September 9.
“The meeting was very cordial. We had a good meeting. About Kasturirangan report and Eco Sensitive Zone, many states have submitted their reports. Gujarat, Goa, Kerala and Karnataka have submitted their report. Maharashtra is also submitting this week. So you will get some news sooner than later,” Javadekar said after meeting Chandy.