Gadgil report on Western Ghats detrimental to Kerala: CPI-M

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 16 (IANS) The CPI-M Sunday said the Madhav Gadgil report on the Western Ghats ecology would prove detrimental to the development of Kerala if implemented in full.

"If implemented in toto, districts like Wayanad and Idukki will have no human population at all," a Communist Party of India-Marxist statement said.

A few months ago, the Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel (WGEEP-2011), headed by noted ecologist Madhav Gadgil, submitted to the union ministry of environment and forests a report on protecting the ecology of the Western Ghats.

The CPI-M said a majority of the recommendations made in the report could not be implemented in a state like Kerala owing to its high density of population.

The Gadgil report's recommendations include categorization of the Western Ghats into three zones of varied ecological sensitivity, besides a framework for the establishment of a Western Ghats ecological authority with adequate legal and administrative powers.

"The zoning of the state appears unscientific, and if it is accepted, then all sorts of developmental activities in various cities and towns of the state will come to a halt," the CPI-M said.

"Kerala is hugely dependant on hydel power and the report suggests that not only can we cannot have new dams, but also knock down the (existing) ones like the Idukki dam."

The CPI-M suggests that it is important to protect the Western Ghats, but for that the state government needs to take people into confidence and see that it's done in a scientific manner.

Early this month, the Idukki diocese of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church, through a pastoral letter read out in their churches, termed the report as part of an international conspiracy.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy recently expressed reservations on the report and pointed out that most of its suggestions were impractical and that Kerala was opposed to the proposed Western Ghats ecology authority as the state could protect its environment within provisions of the existing laws.

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