– globalbihari bureau
New Delhi: The six states that fall into the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats, seek more deliberation on state specific issues before any Central notification of Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) pertaining to Western Ghats.
Chief Ministers , concerned ministers of these states – Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu — had a video conferencing with Union of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar on the issue of notification of ESA on Thursday.
A Ministry release said the states were of unanimous view that looking into the importance of Western Ghats, there was need to ensure protection of the western Ghats. However, the states expressed their views as regards activities and extent of area mentioned in the said notification. “It was decided that state specific issues shall be further deliberated so as to arrive at a consensus on the issue. The states expressed their desire to expedite early notification while protecting interest of ecology and environment,” the release said.
To conserve and protect the bio-diversity of Western Ghats while allowing for sustainable and inclusive development of the region, Government of India had constituted a High Level Working Group under the Chairmanship of Dr. Kasturirangan. The Committee had recommended that identified geographical areas falling in the six States of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu may be declared as Ecologically Sensitive Areas. A draft notification was issued in October 2018 mentioning the areas to be notified in the ESA.
It may be mentioned that the Kasturirangan Committee was the second such committee on Western Ghats, the Madhav Gadgil Committee being the first.
While the Gadgil report marked out 60 percent of the Western Ghats as the highest-priority Ecologically Sensitive Zone (ESZ -1), the Kasturirangan report marks only 37 percent area (but considers wider Western Ghat boundaries) as ESA. Gadgil’s Western Ghats landscape across 1,29,037 sq km. though was smaller than that of Kasturirangan’s Western Ghats landscape, which was 1,64,280 sq km.[the_ad_placement id=”sidebar-feed”]