Govt Publishes New Map on Ecologically Sensitive Areas
By Express News Service | Published: 22nd March 2014 11:13 AM |
The government has brought out a new map excluding human settlements, plantations and agricultural land from the Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESAs) identified by K Kasturirangan-headed High Level Working Group for Conservation of Western Ghats.
The new map, which has been published on the website of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (www.keralabiodiversity.org), has been brought out as per the recommendations of the Oommen V Ommen Committee, set by the state to study the impact of the Kasturirangan report. ‘’Out of the 13,108 square kilometres identified by the Kasturirangan report as ESAs, 3,115 square kilometres have been excluded,’’ said a press note from the Chief Minister’s Office.
‘’Two sets of maps have been published. In the first map, ESAs have been marked in green and the rest in yellow. In the second map, the colour code is: agricultural land (yellow), houses and towns (red), forests (green), rocky areas and fallow land (maroon) and water sources (blue),’’ the press note said.
‘’The report and maps of non-ecologically sensitive areas within the 123 villages originally listed under ESAs, were prepared by the Kerala State Remote Sensing and Environment Centre (KSREC). A team headed by S Jane Mithra, Scientist of KSREC, had prepared the report in a short span of 10 days,’’ said a release from KSREC. The 442-page report and maps are also available on the website www.ksrec.kerala.gov.in.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy reiterated the government’s stand that no land belonging to private individuals should come under ESAs. ‘’If there is any discrepancies in the new map, it will be further rectified,’’ Chandy said.