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Centre in talks with States to delineate eco-sensitive areas of Western Ghats

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on June 24, 2019 Published on June 24, 2019

Minister of Environment Prakash Javadekar   -  THE HINDU

Noting that States have been demanding a reduction or an alteration in the Eco-Sensitive Area (ESA) of Western Ghats, the Centre has started fresh discussions to finalise notification on declaration of ESA.

Minister of Environment Prakash Javadekar told the Lok Sabha on June 21 that considering that the validity of the latest draft Notification was March 31, 2019, fresh discussion has been started with the States.

“Fresh discussion to finalise the notification to declare the ESA of the Western Ghats has already been initiated with the States and a meeting was held on February 15,” he said.

Main demands

On the main demands of individual States, the Minister replied in a written answer, “in general, the demand from the States is to reduce/alter the ESA as recommended by the high level working group (HLWG)”.

The HLWG headed by K Kasturirangan had delineated a contiguous ESA of 59,940 sq km in the Western Ghats region spread over six States — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat — and recommended specific measures for conservation.

The process to conserve and protect the Western Ghats was started 2010 with the setting of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) and followed by the constitution of HLWG in 2012.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had issued the first draft notification in February 2014.

Prohibited activities

The government has prohibited activities having interventionist and destructive impacts on natural ecosystems of the ESA.

These activities include mining, quarrying and sand mining and setting up of thermal power plants.

Published on June 24, 2019

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