Karnataka opposes declaring Western Ghats as ‘Eco-Sensitive Zone’: CM Bommai conveys stand to Centre

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Bengaluru: Declaring Western Ghats as Ecologically Sensitive Zone would adversely affect the livelihood of the people in the region. So Karnataka government and the people living in the region are opposed to implementation of Kasturirangan report, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.
Participating in the virtual meeting on implementation of Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats chaired by union minister for Environment, Foress and Labour, Bhupinder Yadav, Bommai strongly presented state’s stand.
Bommai drew the attention of the participants to the fact that state cabinet had decided to oppose the Kasturirangan report. The decision had been taken after exhaustive discussions with people of the Western Ghat region and officials.
Karnataka has the distinction of being one of the states with extensive forest cover. “Our government has taken extreme care to protect the biodiversity of Western Ghats. People of the region have adopted agriculture and horticultural activities in a eco-friendly manner. Priority has been accorded for environment protection under the Forest Protection Act. In this background bringing one more law that would affect the livelihood of the local people is not appropriate,” Bommai said.
Kasturirangan report has been prepared based on the satellite images, but the ground reality is different, Bommai explained.
The Union minister assured the state that officers from the Union Environment and Forests department would visit the state before taking any decision.
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