Millennium Post

Western Ghat row: No central panel to be appointed now

Environment Minister M Veerappa Moily said the states concerned should appoint committees respectively to assess the kind of activities that could be allowed in the tract. After the committees submit their reports, efforts will be made by the centre to find solutions.

‘Concern of the state governments will have to be addressed,’ Moily told PTI in an interview here.
‘There was one report made by (Madhav) Gadgil Committee.

After that (K) Kasturirangan committee was appointed (to study it). ...No new committee at the central level. I think committees are not going to solve the problems. Many committees more problems,’ Moily told PTI in an interview.

His comments came against the backdrop of a major controversy created by the implementation of the Kasturirangan committee recommendations which was seen by locals as prohibiting even plantation activities in the Western Ghats.

The committee’s report was implemented during the tenure of Moily’s predecessor Jayanthi Natarajan, who was forced to issue a clarification, just a day before her sudden exit from the Ministry.

The 1600 km long Western Ghats pass through Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat.  Moily said the states can appoint separate committees to study the issues of implementation of Kasturirangan panel report--a watered down version of the orignial report submitted by a panel headed by eminent ecologist Madhav Gadgil.

‘Kerala has already constituted a committee at state-level. I will be advising them (other states) to constitute a committee, if necessary... After that they can address to me, and I may also meet chief ministers. I am here to find solutions, not to create conflicts,’ he said.
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