A people’s convention organised by the Wayanad Samrakshna Samithi here on Sunday decided to submit a memorandum signed by five lakh people in the district to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, demanding rejection of the alleged anti-people recommendations of the Madhav Gadgil Committee report on conservation of the Western Ghats.
The convention decided to add several other demands, such as promulgation of an ordinance to revoke the night traffic ban through the Bandipur National Park on National Highway 212; shelving the alleged move to convert the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary into a tiger reserve; digging of trenches and installing a four-metre-high wire-mesh fence after erecting stone walls on the border of forests to curb wild-animal attacks; increasing the compensation for crop destroyed by wild animals; and implementing measures to conserve the natural forests after clearing teak and eucalyptus plantations in the district.
Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who inaugurated the convention, said a combined effort on part of the public was the need of the hour to rectify some of the unscientific and impractical recommendations of the committee.
The committee had drafted the recommendations without considering the fact that human beings were also part of conserving the ecology. If the Union government implemented the recommendations without rectifying the faulty ones, it would adversely affect the developmental activities of the State, including the proposals to set up new airports, hill highways, and railway lines, he said. The Western Ghats and its ecosystem should be conserved but unscientific recommendations of the report should be avoided, he said.