The State government is eliciting public opinion on environmentally hazardous activities in the buffer zone around wildlife sanctuaries, Forest Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar told the Assembly on Wednesday.

Responding to a submission moved by E.S. Bijimol, he said the State Wildlife Board had constituted a subcommittee to collect evidence from the public on the need to impose restrictions on environmentally hazardous activities such as rock quarrying, soil mining, and large-scale extraction of water.

He said the subcommittee comprising three MLAs had been asked to submit a report to the government after eliciting public opinion. The committee was set up by the State government following a directive issued by the Supreme Court to decide on the eco-sensitive zones around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the State.

He assured the House that the subcommittee had nothing to do with the recommendations of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) headed by Madhav Gadgil. “The Gadgil committee report was unilateral and has been opposed by the State,” he said.