All-party meet to discuss Kasturirangan panel report

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Western Ghats
Thiruvananthapuram, June 5: Kerala Government today decided to convene an all-party meet to arrive at a concensus before taking its stance on the recommendations of the Kasturirangan Committee on Madhav Gadgil Western Ghats Expert Ecology Panel Report.

The date for the meeting would be decided after consultingpolitical parties, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting here.

Stating that the government view was that the suggestions should not affect the livelihood of people and agriculture,Chandy said it was in favour of the recommendations that restrict sand mining, functioning of quarries and other such activities in eco-sensitive zones.

Since the government did not want to take a unilateral decision, the all-party meeting will be convened, he added.

The Kasturirangan Committee report had made a lot of changes in the WEEP recommendations.

The number affected villages has been brought down from 633 to 123 in Kerala, Chandy said adding "the number of 123 is serious as far as Kerala is concerned".

Following opposition from various state governments to the recommendations of WGEEP report which placed a series of restrictions on human activities on ecologically sensitive areas, the centre set up the Kasturirangan High Power panel to advise it on the matter.

The high-level working group report was released on April 17 last. The Centre has also sought the view of state governments on the Kasturirangan report.


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