The Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) has come down heavily on the Central order giving effect to the K. Kastrurirangan Committee report on the Western Ghats terming it ‘arbitrary.’

In separate statements here on Friday, LDF convener Vaikom Viswan and leadership of the CPI(M), CPI, and the RSP termed the Central government order a challenge to the people. While it was important to protect the Western Ghats, measures meant to do so should not be based only on the views of a few technical experts, he said.

Mr. Viswan said the Central and State governments’ stand on the issue was unacceptable. The governments should go ahead with its ecological conservation efforts taking the people into confidence. Instead of doing so, the two governments had declared a war against the people and was trying to implement the report in a hurry, he added.

The CPI(M) State secretariat also urged the Central government to give up its move to implement the report ‘unilaterally’ and take effective measures to allay the fears of the people. The manner in which the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had tried to implement the report was unacceptable because it tended to affect normal life and the farming activities of the people, it said.

The CPI(M) leadership pointed out that the Kasturirangan Committee report would affect 123 villages in 11 districts in the State. The government’s efforts should be to carry out steps for conservation of the Western Ghats in a democratic manner. There was no point in the Chief Minister’s statement that the people’s fears about the report would be allayed as the Central government had already notified its order implementing the recommendations of the Kasturirangan panel, it added.

The CPI and RSP leadership also expressed serious reservations about the notification and said that the attempt should be to find a democratic solution to the problem.

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