Won’t implement report on Western Ghats: Karnataka government | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The state government reiterated on Thursday that it won’t implement the K Kasturirangan committee’s 2013 report, which had suggested that 1,533 Karnataka villages along the Western Ghats should be formally identified as eco-sensitive zones.
The report’s acceptance would have meant new environmental protection measures, including restrictions on various activities, in the villages. It has become a major point of discussion in Karnataka and other states because the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Centre to implement the recommendations by December-end.
“The state government assures residents of the 1,533 villages that there will be no forceful eviction. The government will continue to provide all basic infrastructure, apart from undertaking developmental works,” primary and secondary education minister S Suresh Kumar said in the assembly. He was among the few cabinet members in the house. Attendance was thin on the last day of the winter session as the opposition boycotted the proceedings to protest the “hurried manner” in which the BS Yediyurappa government got a new bill against cow slaughter passed.
Attending BJP legislators questioned the government over the Kasturirangan committee’s report, seeking clarity on Karnataka’s stand. V Sunil Kumar, MP Kumaraswamy, Aragajnanendra, KG Bopaiah and Kumara Bangarappa were among the members who spoke on the issue.
Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri also weighed in: “My district, Uttara Kannada, will face the biggest brunt (if the report is implemented). Over 600 villages will fall under the eco-sensitive category as determined by the committee. We need clarity in this regard.”
Kumar said that the Karnataka government rejected the report in 2018 and the same was conveyed to the Centre. “After this communication, chief minister BS Yediyurappa wrote to the Centre in July this year, saying that it must hold discussions with the state before issuing any final notification on the implementation of the report. Further, a cabinet sub-committee has also been formed to look into the various aspects of the report,” he said.
The sub-committee will share its assessment with the state government and the Centre by December-end.

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Sagar Biswas

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