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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Environment Ministry implemented the recommendations related to protection of Western Ghats
Oct 16, 2013

the Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan implemented the recommendations of the two reports on the Ghats, one headed by ecologist Madhav Gadgil and the other by Planning Commission member K. Kasturiranga. According to it the Ministry has decided to turn approximately 60,000 square kilometres of the Western Ghats across six States i.e. 37% into an Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 thus banning mining, quarrying, thermal power plants and polluting industries over the entire range. All other projects would be allowed only with the prior consent of gram sabhas (village councils) in the zone.

Criteria for demarcation:

The ministry will use three criteria that has been recommended by the panel — biodiversity richness, fragmentation of forests and human population density to demarcate these forest patches that would turn into a no-go zone for mining, thermal power plants and other dirty industries.

Activities to be banned in no-go zone are:

The industries included in the ‘red list’ issued by the government under the Environment Protection Act will be banned. These are usually considered to be the most polluting of the lot. Going against the recommendation of the Environment Secretary, the Minister retained the criteria to leave areas with high-density of population out of this regulated zone’s ambit. The high-level panel had recommended that the hill tracts with high population densities be kept out of the ESA ambit.

Other provisions include:

Within the ESA, prior consent from the gram sabhas and strict adherence to the Forest Rights Act would be made mandatory for any of the projects that are not on the negative list. This too would be done after studying cumulative impacts of the projects in the region. Townships and buildings over 20,000 square metres in the region too would not be allowed once the draft notification is published.

Construction of windmills would be permitted in the ecologically sensitive area though environment regulations to review their impact may be brought in through other legal routes available to the government. Hydroelectric projects would be permitted in the ESA but with a new set of strict regulations that the Kasturirangan panel has recommended, including those on maintaining ecological flows in the rivers.

The moratorium on mining in most parts of the two districts of Maharashtra — Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri — could soon be removed with the panel finding most of the areas of the two districts falling outside the demarcated forest zone which is to be declared as the ESA.


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