The recommendations of the Madhav Gadgil and Kasturirangan Committees on Western Ghats should not be implemented in the State as the reports were prepared without scientifically studying the ecology of the Ghats, the Malabar Regional Small-scale Granite Quarry Crusher Coordination Committee has demanded.
The reports were anti-people and against the fundamental rights of the citizens. If implemented, they would adversely affect the development prospects of the State.
There had been no depletion of green cap in Kerala. Instead it had increased through various projects implemented by government and private agencies. Hence committee classifying 14 taluks under the ecologically sensitive zone 1, two taluks under zone 2 and eight under zone 3 was wrong.
There was no mention of any study on quarrying or mining anywhere in the reports.
Recommendations against quarrying and mining were made without studying the issue, which was quite unjust.
There had not been any scientific study on any loss of biodiversity due to quarrying or mining, the committee said in a press release. Restricting quarrying and mining would deprive thousands of people of their livelihood. The quarry owners would go bankrupt if mining activities were banned, the release added.
The Forestry Board, a Kozhikode-based environmental organisation, on the other hand, alleged that those who were opposing the Madhav Gadgil report were doing so without properly studying the recommendations. The suggestions in the report were mostly suited for the sustainable development of the State. It did not suggest evacuating anyone from their homes. Vested interests were alleging that the report was against farmers’ interest.
On the other hand, the Kasturirangan report, promoted construction even in ecologically sensitive areas, and hence could not be accepted, the Board said in a press release.