Church of South India (CSI) central Kerala diocese bishop Thomas K. Oommen has called for implementing stringent laws for protecting the Western Ghats in a manner that will not affect small-scale settler farmers.

In a statement here on Saturday, the Bishop said the political controversy as a result of the insufficient understanding of the K. Kasturirangan and Madhav Gadgil committee reports did not auger well for society. The Church denounced unnecessary agitations, including hartal, over the issue, he said.

Centre criticised

The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church criticised the Centre’s decision to approve the Kasturirangan committee report on the Western Ghats. Terming the decision “condemnable”, Church lay-secretary George Joseph said the decision would result in 123 villages in one-third area of the State being declared Ecologically Sensitive Areas.

Bishops to meet

According to a Kochi report, Catholic bishops from Idukki and Wayanad districts and their representatives will be among those attending a meeting at the headquarters of the church at the Pastoral Orientation Centre in Kochi on Tuesday to discuss the fallout of the decision to implement the Kasturirangan report.

More In: Kochi | Kerala | National