The expert committee constituted by the government to formulate the State’s response to the Kasturirangan committee’s recommendations for the protection of the Western Ghats has decided to hold consultations with various stakeholders in Idukki and Wayanad districts.

At its first meeting here on Friday, the expert committee, including Oommen V.Oommen, chairman, Kerala State Biodiversity Board, V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Executive Vice-President, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, and P.C. Syriac, former chairman, Rubber Board, decided to visit the areas in the State that had witnessed resistance to the proposal of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) to create ecologically sensitive zones.

The Kasturirangan committee had been set up by the Government of India in the wake of widespread protests against certain recommendations of the WGEEP.

The meeting decided to elicit the response of the stakeholders, including people’s representatives, farmers and environmental groups, to the report of the Kasturirangan committee.

The three-member committee will visit Adimali, Nedunkandam, Kattappana, Cheruthoni, Thodupuzha, Iritti, Kottiyoor, Mananthavadi, Kalpetta, Koorachundu and Kodenchery from November 20 to 27, and hold consultations.

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