Madhav Gadgil’s article (editorial page, Dec. 4) is an eye-opener for those who advocate indiscriminate, lopsided and senseless development that will affect the fragile biodiversity of the Western Ghats. There are numerous precedents of how uneven development in the industrial world has affected them in the long term. India needs to rethink its one-sided model of development.
As Mr. Gadgil has pointed out, Kerala is a place where advanced social development along with a high level of participatory democracy can help in protecting the environment, ensuring development and increasing sensitivity to what the citizenry wants. Therefore, it is unfortunate that some parts of the State observed a strike recently protesting the Kasturirangan report on the Western Ghats.
We have seen the ill-effects of development when vested corporate interests endanger the poor and the impoverished in Odisha and Bihar. In Kerala, the quarries in Pathanamthitta represent lopsided development. Development is meaningful only if it is inclusive and sustainable.
Keywords: Chembanmudy quarries, Western Ghats, Western Ghats conservation, inclusive economy, labour intensive growth, human capital, Gadgil panel, Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel, Chembanmudy case