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Govt seeks to exempt populated zones from ESA

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Govt seeks to exempt populated zones from ESA
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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has given its response to the Union Environment Ministry on the issue of implementation of the Kasturirangan report on the conservation of the Western Ghats, seeking to exempt populated zones and farm lands from the Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESAs).

The State government, in its reply, has also asked the Central government to redefine 123 villages in the ecologically sensitive area (ESA).

It has also asked to exclude hospitals, farm lands and dairy farms from the Red category.

The Union Forest and Environment Ministry had sought the state's response on the recommendations of the panel on protecting the biodiversity hotspot, which runs through several states.

As per the Kasturirangan report, parts of Idukki and Wayanad would come under the definition of ESA, where human activity would have to be drastically curbed to protect the biodiversity hotspot from further assault.

The Environment Ministry had written to six Chief Ministers, asking for their views, and their reports on the recommendations of the Kasturirangan panel.

The Ministry on February 13 had informed the National Green Tribunal that a final decision on the implementation of the Kasturirangan Committee report on the Western Ghats would be taken after getting responses from the States.

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