Don’t allow Hydel Units in Western Ghats: Report - The New Indian Express

Don’t allow Hydel Units in Western Ghats: Report

Published: 30th November 2012 08:49 AM

Last Updated: 30th November 2012 08:49 AM

Forest Minister C P Yogeshwar on Thursday said the recommendations of the Western Ghats Task Force on the Conservation and Sustainable Development of Western Ghats would be implemented.

The 14 recommendations, submitted by the Task Force, headed by Chairman Ananth Hegde Ashisar, on Thursday, include framing of a clear policy to ban mining and not granting permission to any form of hydroelectric project in the Western Ghats.

Yogeshwar, who received the report in the absence of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, said the government would put the brakes on the mushrooming of “resort tourism” and would not grant permission to set-up mini-hydel plants in the Western Ghats.

A comprehensive policy on the sustainable development of Western Ghats with active participation of tribal, forest dwellers and other local communities should be framed, the report said.

The report wants the government to bring all taluks in the Western Ghats under the “Naxal package” benefit so that all the remote villages in the forest area get basic facilities.

It also called for the implementation of The Tribal and Forest Dwellers’ Act “in true spirit, with due emphasis both on forest conservation and tribal welfare”.

“The Western Ghats is the lifeline of the state as all major rivers originate here. But the river valleys are fast getting spoilt because of encroachment, pollution and deforestation. A comprehensive policy should be framed to protect these river valleys along with their small streams.”

“The novel approaches of mobilising financial contributions from downstream area users can also be thought of,” it said.

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