She was speaking at a protest meeting, organised by the Western Ghats Protection Council, in Kozhikode.

Writer Khadija Mumtaz said that Kerala will have to face natural calamities like those witnessed in Uttarakhand recently if the Western Ghats are not preserved.

She was speaking at a protest meeting organised by the Western Ghats Protection Council here on Saturday demanding the implementation of the recommendations put forward by the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) headed by Madhav Gadgil.

“The Western Ghats which is the source of most of our water needs are a blessing to our State. Humans have inhabited these hills for long. But they knew the rhythm of nature unlike the present when our greed is eating away the mountains considerably. The nature strikes back in the form of land slips and flash floods. Uttarakhand was witness to such a backlash of mammoth proportions. Our struggle is one for survival,” said Ms. Mumtaz. The council criticised the State government for demanding the rejection of the Gadgil panel report. “We have decided to go forward with a mass protest programme to correct the ignorance of the political leadership,” said a statement from the council. A signature campaign will be kicked off from Kozhikode on September 8 to push for the demand. The signatures will be submitted to the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Gandhian Thayattu Balan presided over the protest meeting. Environmentalist A.Achuthan also spoke.

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