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Kasturirangan to favour cooperative existence

A Correspondent
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To submit report on WGEEP recommendations by Monday

A holistic approach should be adopted to implement the report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel, K. Kasturirangan, Planning Commission member, heading a working group on the report, said here on Tuesday.

Dr. Kasturirangan was in Idukki to look into the concerns raised by the people in the district about the recommendations in the report of the panel, led by Madhav Gadgil, environmental scientist.

He told presspersons at the District Collector’s chamber that the farmers in Idukki had given importance to environmental protection, the reason the environment of the district had not changed much.

“You have maintained your livelihood with concern for the environment, while protecting the ecosystem. The convergence of various elements has created a unique place for the district, and what is to be given importance is coexistence of various living organisms,” he said stressing that the best elements of the Madhav Gadgil report needed to be implemented.

He said he had visited the six States which should implement the report, and people had raised area-specific factors. His recommendations would raise their concern.

Dr. Kasturirangan said the farmers were the key elements of the ecosystem in Idukki and their apprehensions had good reasons. What he favoured was cooperative existence and not competitive existence.

He said his report would stress livelihood issues, development aspects and ecological protection. He was busy compiling the report to submit it by Monday. The views of all stakeholders would have to be compiled, and his focus would be on sustainable development.

Asked if his report would be in favour of the farmers, he said he did not want to divulge the details.

P.T. Thomas, MP, Roshy Augustine, MLA, and District Collector T. Bhaskaran also attended the press meet.

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