Rural Development Minister K.C. Joseph on Thursday denied reports that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had refused to accept most of the demands of the State government with regard to modification of the Kasthurirangan committee report on the Western Ghats in a way favourable to local settlers.

Interacting with the media here, Mr. Joseph claimed reports in this regard in a section of the media were misleading. He said a final decision on the demands of the government would evolve only in another two days.

A committee constituted by the government under the leadership of Oommen V. Oommen, Chairman of the State Biodiversity Board, to address grievances of the settler community had already held discussions with officials of the Union Ministry but a decision would emerge only after two days, he said.

“We hope a decision will be taken by the Central government,” he said. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had already taken up the issue with Union Minister Veerappa Moily, Mr. Joseph said.

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