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Draft notification on conservation of Western Ghats to be reissued soon: Kerala MPs

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017,12:04 IST By joji A A A

New Delhi | The draft notification regarding conservation of Western Ghats will soon be reissued and finalised, two Kerala MPs claimed Wednesday after meeting Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave.

Joice George and A Sampath also said the Centre is considering implementing restrictions on certain activities which were earlier banned in the Ecologically Sensitive Area.

They met the Union minister after the Centre had alleged that Kerala’s report was creating hindrance for it to release the final notification on Panel report regarding conservation of Western Ghats.

The Parliamentarians also said the Centre is yet to finalise any report on the final notification regarding conservation of Western Ghats.

“The minister has assured us that there will be a reissuance of the draft notification and it will be finalised without any delay,” George said.

“The Centre is also considering to implement restrictions on certain activities which were earlier banned in the Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA),” the MP said.

“The state government has also taken a decision to give an undertaking to the Centre to protect the other ESAs outside the forest areas under the current laws. We have informed the Union minister about all these decisions,” Sampath said.

Earlier in the day, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said the state will ensure protection of eco-sensitive regions in populated areas.

The Kerala government has decided to request the Centre to leave out 886.7 sq km “non-forest land” from the area demarcated as Ecologically Fragile Land (EFL) for preservation of Western Ghats.

“As per the Centre’s February 2014 notification, 9993.7 sq km area in 123 villages was declared EFL, of which 9,107 sq km was complete forest and the rest was non-forest land,” Vijayan had told reporters in Kerala.

The Centre’s stand is that the report submitted by Kerala exempting plantations and populated areas in eco-sensitive areas in connection with the final notification on Kasturirangan Panel report cannot be approved.