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All-party meet on WGEEP report today, Left to boycott

All-party meet on WGEEP report today, Left to boycott

Thiruvananthapuram: The all-party meeting called by the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to formulate the state's response to the recommendations of the Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel (WGEEP) report will take place here today.

The meeting was called after the Supreme Court sought the centre's opinion in a case filed by a Goa-based NGO seeking the implementation of the WGEEP report.

The Left parties have decided that since their boycott of Chandy continues, they will not attend the all-party meeting. Instead, they will give their recommendations in writing.

The Left Front had earlier called a shutdown in Idukki and Wayanad last week over the WGEEP report. They claimed that if its recommendations were implemented, then those two districts, among others, would see no human population at all.

Numerous social and political organisations and the Catholic Church have been up in arms since Madhav Gadgil, who headed the panel that drew up the WGEEP, submitted it to the union environment and forests ministry last year.

The key recommendations include categorisation of the Western Ghats into three zones of varied ecological sensitivity with broad guidelines for each of these zones besides a framework for the establishment of a Western Ghats Ecological Authority with adequate legal and administrative powers.

Following the outcry from six states which would have far reaching implications if the report is implemented, the centre deputed Planning Commission member G. Kasturirangan to visit the two districts in Kerala that would be affected.

"Compared to the Gadgil committee report, the Kasturirangan committee report brings solace to us. We wish to arrive at a consensus because there are a few recommendations which are not favourable to us. Once we arrive at a consensus, we will try to put across our apprehensions with the Centre and the apex court," said Chandy ahead of the meeting.

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