THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has conveyed its strong opposition to the recommendations by the T S R Subramanian committee report on forests and environment to the Centre. Bringing in amendments to the existing rules is aimed at supporting corporates and encroaching on state governments’ rights, Kerala pointed out.
Environment and Forests Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan had already explained Kerala’s stance on the issue during a meeting of state environment ministers in April.
The proposal to set up National Environment Authority and State Environment Authority to issue single window clearance to industrial projects has come under the state’s criticism. The state governments will not have any role in the appointment and functioning of these authorities, Kerala pointed out. The minister had pointed out that the state was successful in maintaining 29 pc of its area as forest land. As per the Forest Survey Report, the forest cover in the state has increased to 11,265 sq km in 2014.
As per the statistics of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the number of tigers in Kerala has increased to 136 from 71. Only if the Union Government makes substantial financial contribution towards environmental protection that the state would be able to implement such projects, he added.
The state government has already submitted its proposal to declare 22 protected regions in Kerala as ecologically-fragile areas. As per the proposals in the Biodiversity Act, the state could set up biodiversity committees in 978 panchayats, the minister said.