An action committee of hill farmers has demanded that the UDF include in its election manifesto its promise to keep out densely populated villages and farmlands from Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) ambit.

Committee chairman O.D. Thomas said on Friday that the 112-page draft notification issued by Ministry of Environment had not assuaged the worries of farmers about the recommendations made in the K. Kasturirangan and Madhav Gadgil reports on Western Ghats conservation. He said the notification was aimed at misleading farmers.

He said the draft notification would be meaningless since the notification of November 13 had not been withdrawn. It had also been made known a decision on the matter would be in line with the court’s verdict.

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