Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday attacked K. Kasturirangan-led 10-member high-level working group report on eco-sensitive zones in Western Ghats and stated that it will be reviewed if the BJP comes to power at the Centre to consider the interest of the State.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters in the city on Wednesday ahead of launch of second-leg campaign of the parliamentary polls, Mr. Parrikar said 109 villages of tiny coastal State covering 40 per cent of the area of the State will come under eco-sensitive zone thus bringing any development activity under halt, as per the report.
He said this would create a logjam for State's development and remarked that "this may be their (Congress) idea of Special Status to Goa."
"We have not accepted the report," he said. The State had also criticised the Madhav Gadgil committee report on Western Ghats.
He accused the UPA government's Environment Ministry of accepting this crucial report on Western Ghats prepared by the panel and deciding to declare the Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) over 37% of the Western Ghats under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 without taking into consideration the say of the State.
He wanted the report to be reviewed to study it on scientific basis. He charged that that was not done.
The Chief Minister also objected to Union Environment Ministry's recent draft notification for immediate closure of mines coming under buffer zone of one kilometre disregarding the recommendation of the State government to phase out mines beyond 500 metres in 5-10 years.
He demanded that the Congress party, which was accusing the BJP of closing mining, needed to explain this as it will bring the entire mining to a sudden halt. He further stated that if BJP government comes after elections at the Centre, it will review this draft notification too.