Report on Western Ghats: K’taka govt allays villagers’ fears


PTI, Dec 11, 2020, 9:42 AM IST

 

Bengaluru: Amid fear over the implementation of the Dr K Kasturirangan Report on the Conservation of Western Ghats which may hinder infrastructure development in 1,533 villages, the Karnataka government on Thursday said it would protect the interests of the affected villagers.

‘There is no need for any resident in the 1,533 villages coming under the purview of the Kasturirangan Report to live in fear and take some other decision. The government is committed to protect all the villagers and their interests,’ Karnataka Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S Suresh Kumar said in the state Assembly.

He was replying to a question raised by the BJP Tirthalli MLA Araga Jnanendra and other BJP MLAs from Malnad region during Zero Hour.

Jnanendra said the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has set a deadline for the implementation of the report by December 31.

If implemented, it would affect the development of areas under the purview of conservation of Western Ghats including the villages, the BJP MLA told the House.

He said no developmental activities can be carried out in the villages without the permission of the competent authorities at the Central-level.

He said the draft notification issued by the Central government was based on the directions of the NGT.

Instead of representation before the NGT, the state had been writing to the Central government, whereas the Kerala government had approached the NGT explaining their position, which accepted its contention, the MLA said.

‘The Centre has not done anything on its own. Hence, our point is: Please explain whether you have gone to the NGT and filed your objections there. You have not done that,’ Jnanendra said.

Minister Suresh Kumar conceded that among the six states within the purview of the Kasturirangan Report, Karnataka’s share is 36 per cent, the highest.

He said the government is mulling whether it can implead in the case before the NGT.

‘If we can implead, we will present our governments stand before the NGT,’ Kumar added.

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