After the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on Wednesday came out with an order to implement the Kasturirangan Committee report instead of the Gadgil panel report in matters regarding cultivation and construction of new structures in the eco-sensitive zones of Western Ghats, the Kuttanad Samyuktha Samithi, a pro-environment organisation, has said that it would launch a protest against the order and pitch for the implementation of the Gadgil Committee report.
Chairman of the samithi K Guptan has alleged that a nexus of quarry mafia, black money holders and politicians were keen on watering down the Gadgil Committee report. He also said that the National Green Tribunal would have the last word on which report to be implemented.
“Former Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, who had constituted the Gadgil Committee, was shifted from the ministry. The state Assembly unanimously passed a resolution against the report. Neither the so-called ‘Green MLAs’ in the UDF nor LDF MLAs like Binoy Viswam, who has projected an image of a pro-environmentalist, uttered a single word against the resolution.
On the contrary, all the politicians, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, flayed the report, without even reading it completely. The vested interest groups and politicians went on spreading false information about the report,” Guptan noted.
Functionaries of the samithi said that the environmental issues have created some consolidation among voters.
“So, to woo this ‘vote-bank’, the political parties are creating a bogey, by making the people believe that they are in support of the environmental cause. However, when it matters, they are not capable of taking a strong stand on any environmental issue,” they said.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will convene an all-party meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on October 21 to arrive at a consensus on the Kasthurirangan panel report on Western Ghats.
The Centre had asked the states to present their opinion on the report, and Kerala had informed the Centre of its preliminary stand.