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Kasturirangan panel says it can’t fully agree with Gadgil report on Western Ghats

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Kasturirangan panel says it can’t fully agree with Gadgil report on Western Ghats
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Thiruvananthapuram: A high-level working group headed by eminent space scientist K Kasturirangan, in its report on Western Ghats has said that it cannot completely agree with the Gadgil Committee recommendations.

The Kasturirangan panel on Tuesday had submitted its report on Western Ghats to Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan by e-mail. The report will officially be submitted to the Minister here Wednesday, sources said.

The Gadgil Committee report submitted last year had been mired in controversy and had been rejected by the State government. A second panel headed by Planning Commission member K. Kasturirangan was appointed by the Union government to review the Gadgil report.

The nine-member panel was constituted to examine the Western Ghats ecology expert panel report prepared under the leadership of eminent environmentalist Madhav Gadgil after different state governments including Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra raised concerns about its recommendations.

The Kasturirangan panel had finalised the report on Monday. It was waiting for the minister's availability for its formal submission, sources said.

In addition to having consultations with the state governments and central ministries concerned, the high level working group has also engaged in consultations with other stakeholders.

The Kasturirangan panel had observed that the Gadgil Committee has had extensive consultations with various stakeholders in respect of ecology and environment preservation issues and that the new panel should not attempt to repeat what has already been done by Western Ghats ecology expert panel.

Western Ghats is the origin of Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri and a myriad of rivers which are lifeline for the people of southern India. On its ecological health depends livelihoods of millions of people belonging to the six Western Ghats states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Western Ghats is also one of the identified hotspots of biological diversity globally and is a treasure trove of biological diversity.

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