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Govt to convene all-party meet to discuss Western Ghats report

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Govt to convene all-party meet to discuss Western Ghats report
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Thiruvananthapuram: With protests continuing in the hill ranges over Centre’s move to implement key recommendations of the Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats conservation, the State government on Wednesday decided to convene an all-party meeting to arrive at a consensus on the matter.

A meeting would be called after getting the report of the Expert Committee appointed by the state to look into the Kasturirangan panel recommendations, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Committee was scheduled to hold a sitting and elicit the opinion of people residing in the hill regions from November 26 to December 5, he pointed out.

It was expected to submit its views to government soon after the sitting and it would be placed at the all-party meet, he said, adding, government would finalise state’s stand on the recommendations based on the feedback at the meet, Chandy said.

Reassuring the people living in the high ranges that no one would be evicted on the basis of the report, he said the state was confident that it would be able to convince the Centre to delete those recommendations that would adversely affect the people.

Stating that there was extensive negative propaganda about the report, Chandy said government would launch an awareness campaign by publishing the report in Malayalam language.

Kasthurirangan committee had adopted remote sensing technique to demarcate Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) and due to this erroneous method, plantations in the state have also come under that category, he said.

Land demarcated as ecologically fragile land was different from ESA, Chandy pointed out.

PTI

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