Madhav Gadgil, who headed the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), has strongly criticised the report of the High Level Working Group (HLWG) on Western Ghats, stating that the present report completely ignored the fundamental points put across in the WGEEP report to ensure the protection of Western Ghats.
Inaugurating a seminar on the protection of Western Ghats organised by the Environment Protection Committee, he said that the report of the committee headed by K Kasturirangan was unpalatable and was in favour of the bureaucracy. “I have not gone through it in detail.
However, the initial impression is that there are differences of approach in protecting the ecology of the region. The WGEEP report talks about the facts and we have pointed out that misgovernance is a major issue affecting the ecology of the Western Ghats. This was totally neglected in the new report, which calls for more role for bureaucracy. Providing more power and money to bureaucracy is like giving it to ‘Dussasana’, and it is a wrong approach,” Gadgil said.
He further said that it was very important to ensure people’s participation in the conservation of the Western Ghats rather than avoiding the locals and handing it over to the bureaucracy.