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Kasturirangan committee report on Western Ghats

Date: 09 December 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Chief Minister of Karnataka has announced that the state has opposition to implementation of Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats.

 

Background

The report stresses on conservation of Western Ghats, which the state says will negatively impact the livelihood of people in the region.

 

Details

  • The report proposes that 37% area of Western Ghats should be designated as eco-sensitive area (ESA), which is roughly about 60,000 square kilometers.

  • Out of the 60,000 sq km area, 20, 668 sq km area falls in the state of Karnataka. It recommends a blanket ban on mining, quarrying, setting up of red category industries and thermal power projects. 

  • The impact on the forest and wildlife should be studied before permission is given for infrastructural projects.

  • The sensitive areas are boundaries of the legally demarcated national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, tiger reserves and forest divisions.

  • The union government has sent reminders to the state government to implement the report but the government has been firm in rejecting the implementation.

 

Proposal

The report says that states should use the opportunity of UNESCO Heritage tag to build global and domestic recognition of the enormous natural wealth.

 

Karnataka’s concern

The state of Karnataka has the highest percentage of Ecologically Sensitive Areas at 46.50 per cent. This will render most of the area beyond big developments.

 

Arguments of the state

  • The state argues that report was framed based on satellite imagery and the ground reality is different. People are carrying out agriculture activity in eco-friendly manner.

  • Political representatives from many districts are opposing the move as about 600 villages will fall under the Ecologically Sensitive Area.

 

Need for implementation

  • Adverse development in ecologically sensitive areas would result in droughts, landslides, floods etc that could hurt the nation’s economy.

  • Conserving the fragile ecosystems would cost less compared to the situation prone to calamities.