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Rahul Gandhi to take up Kasturirangan panel report on Western Ghats

Rahul Gandhi to take up Kasturirangan panel report on Western Ghats

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will take up with Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan the issue of implementation of Kasturirangan panel report on Western Ghats in the wake strong protests in some hilly areas of Kerala against it.

Sources said Gandhi gave this assurance to party's Kerala leaders, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and PCC Chief Ramesh Chennithala, when they took up the issue with him during a meeting held to review Congress's performance in the state.

The review meeting was attended by party General Secretaries Janardan Dwivedi, Ahmed Patel and AICC General Secretary in-charge (Kerala) Mukul Wasnik.

Later, Chandy told reporters that there were several "faults" in the Kasturirangan panel report and measures to protect the ecologically fragile Western Ghat region should be taken only after considering the "ground reality".

The report should be amended, correcting procedural lapses and giving practical exemptions to places considering the ground realities there, Chandy said.

He said the livelihood of several thousands of people will be affected if the report is implemented in its present form.

An Environment Ministry panel has given approval to a report on Western Ghats prepared by K Kasturirangan-led panel which has recommended prohibition on development activities in 60,000 sq km ecologically sensitive area spread over six states.


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