BANGALORE: The Ministry of Environment and Forests’ High Level Committee, constituted to review the forest and environment protection laws of India, met individuals, NGOs and organisations in a public consultation on Saturday.
The proceedings were halted for half-an-hour as a few individuals questioned the very constitution of the committee.
Speaking to Express, Committee Chairman and former Cabinet Secretary, T S R Subramanian, said, “We are four individuals appointed to review these five acts and the government believes we have adequate knowledge on the issues of sustainable development. Environment is a vast field and one cannot expect the committee to have 20 experts if one is questioning the very composition of the committee.” According to him, the government selected people with experience so that they listen to all sides.
Several NGOs and wildlife organisations submitted memorandums to the committee. Praveen Bhargava, trustee, Wildlife First, stressed that Chapter IV of the Wildlife Protection Act which provides for notification of protected areas and imposes restrictions must not be altered under any circumstance.