Union Government informed National Green Tribunal (NGT) to not to implement Madhav Gadgil Report on Western Ghats.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) informed the NGT that it is rather relying upon a high-level working group (HLWG) report headed by Prof K Kasturirangan for taking all future calls on demarcating eco-sensitive areas. The Western Ghats is ecologically sensitive area, spread across the six states of Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The information to the NGT was given after NGT came down heavily on the NDA government for for creating a state of flux and not clarify whether Gadgil or not report has been rejected.
Earlier in October 2013, the UPA government had issued a notification giving in-principle approval to implement Kasturirangan Committee report, but refrained from execution, fearing possible political repercussions, and left the final decision on the next government.
In its report submitted to the Union Ministry of Ministry of Environment and Forest in 2011, the Gadgil Committee had designated the entire Western Ghats as ecologically sensitive area. It recommended notification of nearly 3/4th of Western Ghats into ecologically sensitive zone, restricting all development activities.
However, under severe opposition from states where Western Ghats fall, the UPA government constituted K Kasturirangan Committee. This panel in 2013 recommended that only 37 per cent of area should be declared as ecologically sensitive, while simultaneously prescribing for prohibiting certain commercial activities like mining and thermal power generation.
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