Congress does U-turn, urges govt to implement ‘scientific’ Gadgil report

Terming Gadgil report as scientific, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said political leaders had rejected it for temporary benefits.

Published: 17th August 2019 05:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2019 05:15 AM   |  A+A-

Madhav Gadgil

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Oommen Chandy-led UDF government had vehemently opposed Madhav Gadgil’s Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) report in 2011, but now the state leadership of Congress, the leading party in the front, has made a U-turn and come out in vocal support of his recommendations.

Terming Gadgil report as scientific, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said political leaders had rejected it for temporary benefits. Chandy said he had made the call based on a majority decision and added the report could be considered again if the current situation demands it. Senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran also urged the Left government to review an earlier Cabinet decision permitting widespread quarrying in the state.

Speaking to mediapersons, Mullappally said the Congress had earlier opposed the report, keeping in mind the worries of those living in the high ranges.“Many people opposed the Gadgil report without reading its content even once. Gadgil is a true Gandhian. He had come up with a scientific report. Most of the recommendations made by the Gadgil-led panel should be implemented,” said Mullappally. 

‘Gadgil report’ should become talking point’

Mullappally Ramachandran said discussions on Madhav Gadgil’s recommendations should be initiated by the Kerala society. Veteran Left politician V S Achuthanandan too had come out in support of the Gadgil report. It was in August 2011 that the WGEEP submitted its report that comprised major recommendations, including decommissioning of 50-year-old dams and demarcating ecologically sensitive areas. Politicians, cutting across party lines,  in the state opposed its recommendations vigorously.

The then UDF government had stated that the state could protect its environment using provisions of existing laws. It wrote to the Centre expressing reservations on the nine major suggestions in the report. 
Later the Chandy Government entrusted a state panel, led by Oommen V Oommen, which reworked the ESAs in the state. Only a few Congress leaders like P T Thomas openly supported the Gadgil report.

Sudheeran’s call
Senior Congress leader and former KPCC chief V M Sudheeran has approached the state government seeking to cancel an earlier cabinet decision, that could have lead to widespread quarrying across the state. Sudheeran wrote to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking to cancel a 2019 March cabinet decision, amending the Land Assignment Rules. “It was a decision taken on March 5 and the GO was issued on March 8.

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