Kerala on Monday said it cannot accept recommendations of the Madhav Gadgil report on Western Ghats as most of its suggestions were impractical to implement and said the State could protect its environment within provisions of existing laws.
“The Gadgil report places several restrictions on human activities in the Western Ghats and is impractical to implement in the state. Kerala can protect its environment with the provisions of the existing laws,” Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said in the Assembly.
He was replying to a calling attention moved by Communist Party of India (Marxist) member A.K. Balan seeking a review of the report by the Centre.
Mr. Chandy said Kerala had written to the Centre in January this year with rejoinders on nine suggestions of the report.
One of them, to decommission dams that are 50-years-old was impractical as various dams, including the Idukki hydroelectric project would be affected, he said.
Classification of areas under different Zone’s according to its environment and ecological sensitivity would badly affect the State, he said.
“As per present classification guidelines, areas under Vattiyourkavau in the city will be treated as environmentally sensitive,” he said.
On the proposed Athirapally Power project across Chalakudy river in Thrissur district, he said Kerala wanted to implement it without affecting the environment and ecology of the area.
Mr. Chandy said the State would once again give its opinion on the report and also the Athirapally project after receiving suggestions of an expert committee appointed by the government to examine it.
Mr. Balan said as per the report, 15 taluks in Kerala would be listed as ecologically fragile land and demanded that the Kerala government ask the Centre to review it.
The Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel, headed by National Advisory Council member Madhav Gadgil, had in its August 2011 report, recommended strict limits on development in the ecologically fragile Western Ghats zone and an indefinite moratorium on mining in large parts of the hills over several states including Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.