Western Ghats : Ecologically Sensitive Area

What are various recommendation regarding to the issue?
  • Gadgil Committee: Recommended that all of the Western Ghats be declared as the ESA — with only limited development allowed in graded zones
  • K. Kasturirangan Committee: Thic committee relooked over the issue after protests & recommended that only about 60,000 sq km — or about 37% of the WG and a significant reduction from that of the Gadgil committee — be declared as ESA.
What does various states say?
  • States have forced the Centre to consistently delay imposing the ESA restrictions.
  • Kerala managed to get this down to about 56,825 sqkm after widespread protests and an all-party resolution in the State forced the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to exclude 3,117 sqkm of settlements and agricultural land in the State from the ESA.
What is the view of MoEF officials?
  • We have to be sensitive to the needs of development as well as conserving the pristine nature of the WG.
  • Ministry to have fresh representation from States on how much area could be demarcated as the ESA.
  • Western Ghats is a 1,500-km biodiversity-rich geological formation along the western Indian coast, spanning Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Demarcation of an ESA is an effort to protect the fragile eco-system from indiscriminate industrialisation, mining and unregulated development.

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